Learning - Week 6                           Menu 

The original disciples lived with Jesus, they followed him around and would have been anxious to walk as closely behind him as possible so that they could hear his teaching and more easily ask for clarification.  Disciples literally walked in the dust of their teacher.  But they also lived with him, spending days and nights in his presence and they learned through seeing how he lived.  How he responded to others, and reacted to circumstances, and spent his time. Jesus knew his scriptures inside out and used them to teach, as well as wielding them in response to attacks by others.  He made and nurtured disciples, and calls us to do the same. Jesus was obedient even to going to the cross, and constantly sought the will of the Father.  Jesus prayed continually and in different ways at varying times both by himself and with others.  Jesus gave freely, his time, his help, his very life.

Read, and reflect upon 2 Timothy 3:10-end

1.  At many funerals, people come up to me and say, ‘I never knew that about (the deceased)’, sometimes people even learn things about their own parents!  How can we best learn about God?  Bearing in mind that we often don’t see our parents as they really are, until we are mature adults ourselves, what would be the best way of learning who God really is (rather than relying on an image built during childhood)?  How well do you know what He has done and who He is?  How important is it for your Christian life for you to know God?

2.  If you don’t enjoy learning, why is that?  If school was a bad experience, do you need healing, so that you can live the fullness of life Christ came to bring?  If you find reading difficult, have you thought of listening to podcasts?  If you find it easier learning alongside others, are you a member of a life group?  There are many different mediums through which we can now learn, what would help you? 

3.  Think about how, once you were over 14, you came to trust others.  Was it instantaneous?  If not, how did you learn who to trust?  Which learning style is needed most in learning how to trust?  Do you need to trust God more, and what would that look like?

4.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the person of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. How well do you know the scriptures?  Do you meditate upon them, as King David did, night and day?  If it were illegal, in this country, to own a Bible could you remember verses and passages? Which Bible do you have?  Is it time to get a different version, perhaps one that is a modern translation or paraphrase, or a study Bible to help you understand?  (I, personally, love the Life Application Bible)

5.  We learn through copying those we admire.  As parents, and as adults within the church, are we good role models for the children and young people?  As disciples who are called to make and nurture disciples do our lives have integrity and do we live out our beliefs?  If not, what do we do, to whom to do go?

Give us a passion to learn from and of you, good Lord.  In times of doubt and questions, when our belief is perplexed by new teaching, new concepts, when our faith is strained by creeds, by doctrines, by mysteries beyond our understanding, give us discernment through the power of your Spirit that we may know the truth and walk only in your ways. Give us boldness to share your good news with others; increase our love of you and so our commitment to demonstrate - through our giving of time, money and energy – what is important to us, that your Kingdom will be furthered.  Amen 

If you have any questions or suggestions please speak to a member of the preaching team or leave a note in the box at the back of church. Discipleship – Learning

We all have different preferred ways of learning although use all methods depending upon what we are learning.    Given Christ’s commission to make and nurture disciples (teaching them all he taught us), we obviously want people to learn – indeed this is one of the main areas of my role to equip and enable others to achieve their God-given potential and be disciples/the church.  Feedback is, therefore, important and, if you feel that you need equipping in different ways to those offered, please let us know.  The main 4 learning styles are: Visual learners prefer the use of images, maps, and graphic organizers to access and understand new information; Auditory learners best understand new content through listening and speaking; Read & Write students learn best through using words: they are often copious note takers or avid readers, and are able to translate abstract concepts into words and essays.  Kinaesthetic learners best understand information through tactile representations of information.  These students are hands on learners and learn best through figuring things out by hand.  

At present, with the projector problem, we are not so able to teach visually in big church.  Our sermons are predominantly helping auditory learners.  These sheets (I hope) help those who learn through reading and writing.  I suspect that there are fewer kinaesthetic learners amongst us in big church (although from the perspective of sharing the Good News we probably need more people to learn through doing).   The one thing all Christian disciples need is a Bible.

Bible Society – by Madeleine MacCallum. For over 200 years Bible Society has been working to bring the Bible to life; to help people around the world engage with it, relate to it, and make sense of it. That single mission drives a huge range of activities. In some parts of the world, bringing the Bible to life focuses on translation and distribution projects. Elsewhere it focuses on leadership training, or literacy programmes, or interfaith dialogue. Closer to home, in England and Wales, it focuses on advocacy effort, school’s outreach and devotional resources.

 They’re doing everything they can to help individuals and communities to engage with the Bible because they believe that when they do, lives can change – for good.   For example:-

The International Bible Advocacy Centre runs workshops worldwide to develop projects to share the Bible in higher education to see the Bible increasingly discussed, debated and studied at universities around the globe. Bibleadvocacy.org.

Guatemala suffers from violent crime due to endemic poverty, an abundance of weapons, a legacy of societal violence, and the presence of organized criminal gangs. Youth gangs are widely perceived to be the single most important contributors to violence and insecurity.  The Bible Society in Guatemala is delivering a juvenile detention programme called My Second Chance working with chaplains who visit juvenile detention centres sharing God’s love and giving Bibles to 13-18 year old boys who have been incarcerated for violent crimes.  Many young men have been touched by the love of God and their lives transformed breaking the cycle of violence one life at a time. 

 In Blantyre, Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world free children’s Bibles are being distributed to children in Sunday Schools who have nothing. 3,000 bibles were distributed last year but they could have given out ten times that number such is the demand. One Sunday school teacher said “This project could change Malawi. People will get to know God through these Bibles; there will be more children in churches, and their Bible knowledge will deepen.”

 Here in Britain it is not the lack of Bibles that is the issue-simply that in today’s culture many do not see the Bible as being relevant to them. This can be particularly true of many young people. So Bible Society and Youth for Christ have teamed up to create the Good News Bible -The Youth Edition. -an interactive Bible with space to create write think explore and question accompanied by U-tube videos helping them tackle the kinds of issues they face. Biblesociety.org.uk/youthbible. 

At St Margaret’s we have used many of the other resources published by the Bible Society including giving out their different children’s Christmas story booklets each year, free Bibles, Life Group courses and Bible apps and the audio Bible.   Please consider supporting the Bible Society, Bibles can change lives by introducing people to the God who alone brings healing, wholeness, and salvation.