Sunday, October 10, 2021

Being a disciple

Jen Wilkin on making disciples. An important part of this is to study and know the Bible.

In summary:

Have curricula for different levels: new believers (or even the 'I'm just interested' - could be part of a community service offering), more experienced believers, really experienced believers. Her church also has an extension program that gives college credits: or it can be done as an auditor for 1/5 the fee.

Involve the learner:

  1. self study of the passage
  2. discuss with a facilitated group impressions of the passage
  3. lecture with following discussion from a trained Bible teacher

Make Bible learning an essential part of your church Sunday program, maybe with a repeat session through the week.

The SPAACE acronym:

  1. Structure: design environments that honour the commitment and are predictable and ordered.
  2. Predictable: calendar follows the rhythm of people's lives - same every year.
  3. Accountability: participants expectation to prepare, attend and participate. Facilitators/convenors follow-up to make it work, and to be 'made' to work themselves. No pedantic 'checks' on people. Classes charged to lift the bar, with 'skin in the game'. People don't commit to free things.
  4. Accessibility: content and process attuned to the audience (year 8 reading level). No 'big' words, or technical theological words that are unexplained. Scholarships for those who cannot afford the fee. Provide child care to remove the challenge for mothers (and fathers). Lower the bar on participation, rise the bar when you are there.
  5. Community: encourage, make 'space' for people to get to know each other and build trust. These are 'mid-sized' environments. Bigger than small groups, smaller than general gatherings. But learning is the main aim.
  6. Excellence: we do what we say we'll do; we gather 'feedback' from participants. If it is new, be consistent, but minimize change for the first two years.

Similar structure probably needed for apologetics, communicating the faith and general theology.

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