Sunday, November 18, 2007

Same Thing, Different Setting

In my previous posts (here and here) I discussed my frustrations with my desire to teach for education while many students I have recently encountered have not wanted to learn anything but were motivated by something else. In these previous posts, the motivation was grades. However, I have also encountered a resistance to learning in the church. While not motivated by grades, there is still something that blocks these people's desire to learn.

I am the discipleship director at my home church. I provide classes which adults can come and learn more about the Christian life and attempt to implement these principles in to real life (NOTE: the issue of this not being real discipleship or if this is the best way to learn the Christian life is not really the issue here. The point here is that there were classes were learning was offered to adults students).

The last two classes have not went well. The first class was on prayer. There was a DVD instructor, group discussion, and the practice of prayer. It was not the best class on prayer I have ever seen but it was teaching, discussion and practice of the topic. Most anyone should have been able to take something from the class to implement in real life. However, regardless of my efforts to direct the discussion elsewhere, most of the discussion was criticizing the DVD and how it made prayer "too complicated."

Comments like, "We should just praise God in prayer and not worry about anything else," "I watch my 4 year old granddaughter pray and that is all I need to learn about prayer," were par for the course during discussion time.

I attempted to show them that Scripture speaks of prayer in a deeper sense. There is more to prayer than what a 4 year old knows. However, it was not well received.

The next class was on living today in light of eternity. Living each day with the knowledge that our lives today will impact eternity. I think a worthwhile discussion could come from that kind of topic. However, again, most of the discussion has been a critique on the curriculum. I would agree, it is not the best, but is there anything we can take from it to impact our lives? Is there nothing salvageable from this discussion?

The problem as I see it is a critical spirit, which is something that sounds like I have right now. But, my comments here and in the previous posts have been out of concern more than out of critical-ness. Am I failing as an instructor? This is always a possibility. Is there a critical spirit in the church which must be dealth with before people can mature? Am I attempting to "scratch an itch" in the church which is not there? All of these are things I wrestle with and I do not currently know the answer.

I know every experience as an instructor/teacher/preacher cannot be the example of what a classroom should be like. However, as a teacher, I need to see a change in the people I teach. I need to see that they have learned, which means they have implemented the material in their own lives.

I will keep teaching; I will keep attempting to improve spiritually and as an instructor; I will keep attempting to teach what I believe God would have me teach. I just pray that I am impacting His Kingdom for His glory.

Part 3 of 4 (1 2 3 4)