Today was another good day of class.
Each day, a different student leads devotion at the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day, another student offers a reflection on the day and a closing prayer. Today, I was the "reflector."
I asked the question, "What are you taking with you today to help you in this process of going deeper (personally)?"
I asked that because I felt the key theme for the day was maturity. And I believed we talked about that maturity on two levels: 1) leading ourselves deeper, and 2) leading others (i.e. our churches) to go deeper.
During the day, the professor (Dr. Russell West) shared that a mentor told him early in his faith journey, "Start in Matthew. Read to the right, and read no faster than you can understand and obey." That’s great advice. Too often we simply read the Bible for informational purposes. But the Bible is not given to us primarily for informational purposes but for transformational ones!
Russell said at one point, "It’s the gospel that will take people deeper in the faith!"
One of the focuses of the day was a discussion on Paul’s cycle for developing churches:
- Evangelism (preaching the message)
- Establish (grounding new believers)
- Equip (equipping leaders)
- Expand (sending people)
I love that. It’s very similar to the three phases I’ve tended to talk about: Reaching, Teaching, and Sending. In the cycle above, "teaching" is divided into a discipleship component (Establish – discipleship) and equipping component (leadership development). It’s a great way to understand the process; I will remember these as I lead the congregations I serve.
Today’s team-building activity involved two teams. Upon arrival, everyone received either a small or large bolt. Joleen and I (the only married couple in the class), had already each been given a small or large screw that matched the bolts that were given out. Everyone had to come to one of us to match bolts with the same-size screw. That’s how we devided into two teams.
Once divided into two teams, my team’s purpose was to transport a golf ball (placed on a "bull ring") using 8-foot strings that were tied to the bull ring. We had to meneuver the apparatus through a couple doorway. Once there, we had to drop the golf ball into a coffee cup on the floor.
To complicate matters, Joleen’s team’s purpose was to try to prevent us from being successful — placing obstacles in our path, standing in the way, placing obstacles around the cup, etc. To make matters worse, we only had a few minutes in which to accomplish the task.
We had a hard time figuring out how to keep the golf ball on the bull ring, but once we were able to do so, we were successful in the task. It was a good experience. We’ll have to see how some of you do with it at some point in the future! 🙂
It also nice to have part of the afternoon off. We ordered Chinese food and worked through lunch, then called it a day around 2:15 pm.
Joleen and I did take the afternoon off to enjoy some time together. We watched the movie "Click." It was both a good movie AND a bad movie. It was bad because it was typical Adam Sandler crudeness, unfortunately, but the message of the movie was great. The crudeness was absolutely unnecessary to the message of the movie; in fact, it got in the way, for us, anyway.
Well, one more full day, then a half day on Friday before returning home on Friday afternoon. We look forward to our remaining time in the classroom!