"It has been proved over and over again that people do not learn by sitting and listening to long lectures! The more the participants are involved in the learning process, the more they will remember. As much as possible, help the participants to put into practice what they are learning during the workshop. Use of drama, role play, music, small group discussions are all helpful ways of getting the message across."
Drawing on years of experience in running workshops around the world, Margaret Hill cites some of the problems encountered, for example: lack of mentoring and follow-up, wrong choice of participants, lack of political/social support for the participants, people sometimes like coming on workshops in order to get certificates without any expectation of using the new knowledge, lack of local funding.
After describing several possible solutions to these problems, Margaret concludes that "workshops and courses can indeed be very useful, but they can also be a waste of time and money. Planning is needed to make the best possible use of the time when people come together". [more...]
"Pastors have taken on the 'lecture' method to display the 'big man' syndrome which does not allow the people to engage. They are expected to sit and listen and remain silent. They feel this is how the church has to operate. The pastor simply tells them what the Bible says and what they need to do. They are not able to live out what they are told because they still have unanswered questions."
The model of the pastor as 'big man' who knows it all means that people have to sit and listen, and often this does not lead to engagement with Scripture in life-transforming ways. In many traditional cultures, leaders taught through stories, questions, and riddles, allowing people to interact and discover. Can pastors today learn to use discovery methods in the church that allow people to interact with Scripture and discover lessons for themselves? This article says yes, with field experience from Africa to demonstrate it. [more...]
"Those under 20 are ‘digital natives’ — fearless and proficient in manipulating the media with understanding of it structure and potential. It is these young people we must harness to help Christians be salt and light on the internet social networking sites."
One person can only shake hands with about 25 people in 15 seconds - but if they all keep shaking hands with others, a whole room of 250 people can be reached in 15 secs. Such is the nature of viral videos!
Roy Meredith (Logosdor, Australia) tells us about 'R U Smarter than a Fly?' - a 5 part video narrative about the birth, life and death of Jesus as seen through the eyes of flies. He discusses the idea of viral videos and how Scripture engagement needs to take place where young people are online (e.g. social networking sites). [more...]
S.O.A.P. is a method of Bible reading and journaling. It can be used with any daily Bible reading plan.
S for Scripture
Open your Bible to today’s reading (according to whatever plan you are following). Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation
What struck you and caught your attention in what you read? What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out. [more...]
"It thrills me to use Bible stories because I am actually telling people the Bible. I don't tell them some scholar's viewpoint or describe an ivory-tower argument. I let the Bible speak directly to them instead of depending on others' interpretations. The Holy Spirit interprets and applies the Bible to people's lives when we engage them with questions."
This book encourages us to "make truth stick like Velcro in a Teflon world" by using Bible stories, dialogue, drama, and songs to make disciples like Jesus did.
The focus is on the North American context, to reach the digital generation and the millions of Americans who can't, won't, or don't read. [more...]
From the book description on the Publisher's website:
"This is a complete and practical introduction to storying, especially for people who want to learn about using biblical storytelling in cross-cultural contexts and who want to train others to become storytellers. It includes many fascinating accounts of the responses of tribal people to the first proclamation of the gospel through storytelling.
"The result of years of research and field testing, Telling God's Stories with Power is a product of the author's own journey as he confronted the challenges of teaching the Bible in parts of the world where people are unaccustomed to a Western style of learning. Full of innovative and groundbreaking insights, this study is packed with ideas, explanations, and constructive suggestions stated in clear and simple language.
"Throughout the book there are extensive examples from the storytellers' own experiences. Tracing the movement of the biblical stories across multiple generations of tellers and listeners, storytelling is found to be superior for knowledge transfer and for bypassing resistance to the gospel in oral contexts, thus presenting clear evidence of the effectiveness of biblical narrative among oral learners." [more...]
As part of the Biblefresh initiative in 2011 (timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible), churches around the UK are taking up the E100 challenge.
The E100 Bible Reading Challenge is 50 readings in the Old Testament and 50 readings in the New Testament. It's designed to help people get back into reading the Bible and also help them better understand the Bible story.
The programme was pioneered by Scripture Union in the USA where it is now a joint project with American Bible Society. Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Argentina are implementing or planning nationwide E100 campaigns.
A consortium comprising the national Bible Societies and the Scripture Union movements of England and Wales, Ireland Northern Ireland and Scotland, along with Wycliffe Bible Translators has been formed to promote the programme throughout Britain and Ireland. [more...]
"Read the Bible for Life aims to improve biblical literacy in the culture and the church by simultaneously moving readers toward greater skill in reading the Bible well and toward a deeper commitment to applying Scripture to everyday life."
The Read the Bible for Life initiative seeks to accomplish two things foundationally:
"1. We want to help people learn to read the parts of Scripture well, so they know how to engage a psalm, or an Old Testament story, or a parable, applying the word in specific, life-changing ways. 2. We want to help people understand how the grand story of the Bible fits together, so they can understand their place in that grand story that God has written on the world."
On the initiative's website you'll find videos, podcasts, blog posts, as well as details of the book "Read the Bible for Life" by George Guthrie (Union University). [more...]
Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK
This postgraduate course is for those wanting to reflect on how mission fits into the Scriptures, and how to use the Bible to engage missionally in a variety of cultural contexts.
One of the modules is "Bible Engagement in Intercultural Contexts", which includes:
- The Bible as an agent or tool of mission.
- The role of Bible Translation in mission and in relation to Bible engagement themes, such as contextualisation and orality.
- The Bible in relation to other religions and dialogue.
- Bible Engagement in Western contexts: for example, in the Arts, the Media, and Politics.
This coming year, Eddie Arthur, UK Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, will be teaching several sessions. Ida Glaser will also be providing input on the Bible in relation to other faiths. And a team from Bible Society will be coming in to lead a couple of sessions on UK Bible Engagement.
The MA is one of a number of activities of an initiative at Redcliffe called the Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission, which aims to serve the Church by engaging in research, teaching, writing and speaking on mission in the Bible, and the Bible in mission thinking, practice and training. [more...]
The Lausanne Movement has published the second part of the Cape Town Commitment, 'A Call to Action'. It includes a section on eradicating Bible poverty and Bible ignorance, calling for Bible translation, Bible teaching and Bible literacy:
"C) Aim to eradicate Bible poverty in the world, for the Bible remains indispensable for evangelism. To do this we must:
- Hasten the translation of the Bible into the languages of peoples who do not yet have any portion of God’s Word in their mother tongue;
- Make the message of the Bible widely available by oral means...
D) Aim to eradicate Bible ignorance in the Church, for the Bible remains indispensable for discipling believers into the likeness of Christ.
- We long to see a fresh conviction, gripping all God’s Church, of the central necessity of Bible teaching for the Church’s growth in ministry, unity and maturity...
- We must promote Bible literacy among the generation that now relates primarily to digital communication rather than books, by encouraging digital methods of studying the scriptures inductively with the depth of inquiry that at present requires paper, pens and pencils."
For the full text of the Cape Town Commitment, go to the Lausanne web site: [more...]