Privilege, pleasure, joy, and fun are the words that come to mind when I think about the opportunity I have had this week to teach a Bible exposition class on 1 Thessalonians at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. Instead of lecturing, I have really sought to make it a hands-on learning experience where the missionary trainees are putting into practice some of the hermenuetical (fancy way of saying how to study the Bible) tools we talked about on Monday morning. We have really walked through this letter together and it has been exciting to see them learn how to discover and dig out deeper truths from God’s Word without relying on commentaries.
Last night, just as training was concluding I gave them text assignments from 1 Thessalonians which they had this morning to prepare into a 10-15 minute teaching which they will give either this afternoon or sometime tomorrow. They were not allowed to work on their preparation at home. I sprung this on them with short notice for two reasons: 1) If they had their assignments at the beginning of the week they would have probably missed the experience and practice in how to properly understand the larger context and purpose of Paul’s letter. 2) As we worked through the letter together they would have been tempted to figure out how the letter fits into the main point of their passage rather than how their passage fits into the main point of the letter.
So, in just about an hour they will each take a turn teaching through and assigned passage to our make-shift gathering of believers in a Mexican village that we will set up in the classroom. This will give them the experience of moving from study to and teaching to application. By the end of tomorrow as a class they will have taught expositionally (verse-by-verse) through every verse in 1 Thessalonians. It is such a privilege to lead/teach these missionary trainees through this valuable experience!
Below are photos from the annual To Every Tribe burial form signing ceremony that took place last week: