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Colossians – Addendum

Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in scripture | 6 comments

Colossians – Addendum

In my last post on my study through Colossians (“Colossians – Teaching Schedule“), I listed the schedule that I plan to use to teach through the book of Colossians. We’re still planning to read through the entire book of Colossians each Sunday, and I’m still planning to stick to that schedule as we examine a particular passage within Colossians each Sunday.

But, I’ve decided to add something to my teaching schedule. Or, to be more accurate, I’ve decided to add someone to my teaching schedule.

I’ve invited someone to “co-teach” with me each week. Now, that may seem strange to you, since I primarily teach through discussion and dialogue, so anyone will be able to comment or “co-teach.” But, I’ve decided to specifically ask someone to prepare a 5-10 minute lesson based on one concept or one part of each week’s passage.

Five people have agreed to co-teach with me. Two of them are in their twenties and the other three are teenagers. I’ve offered to help them study and prepare their lesson. (Of course, they’re not required to take me up on that offer.) I’m hoping this will give them an opportunity to learn more about studying Scripture and presenting a lesson to the church.

What feedback would you have on this plan?


6 Comments

  1. 3-2-2011

    Hmmmmmm, I’ve been reading and re-reading this short post trying to figure out what I think about it. On the surface, it sounds like a terrific idea. But I have to wonder whether the ultimate message (no pun intended!) sent is in line with what you really desire to see happen in the body.

    Some of this may sound harsh, so please give me the benefit of the doubt that comes from you knowing me in person and know that none of it is intended to be harsh at all.

    To me, it still sends a couple messages about tradition and pastoral control that I’m not sure move you in the direction of a healthy relationship in the body that you desire.

    For example, it sends the message that participation in the discussion is “by invitation” of the designated teacher. Now, you said in the post that anyone can comment and “co-teach”, but if that’s true, why is there this extra level of “approved” or “invited” commenters?

    Further, it sends the message that, even when invited, the designated teacher is still, in some sense, “the boss” or the one with the special knowledge. How do I get that? Simply by your statement that you offered to help them prepare their lesson. Now, I realize you said that they are not obligated to take you up on that, but it still feels like even offering that right off the bat sends a signal that they might not be capable of doing it with the Spirit as their guide.

    I think, if I were in your shoes, and if I wanted to foster a co-teaching type of environment, I would have given an open invitation for anyone to bring something to the table and created an environment where it was possible and safe to do so. To do anything else seems to just foster the same mentality that you are somehow different from the rest of the body and maintains a semblance of clergy/laity distinction.

    My instinct from all that you and I have conversed about in the last however many years we’ve known each other (three? four? I don’t remember!) is that a clergy/laity distinction is the LAST thing you intend to foster.

    I would love to hear differing opinions on this topic, and I am eager to find out how your experiment turns out.

  2. 3-2-2011

    By the way, when I read “I’ve invited someone to “co-teach” with me each week”, I was going to ask if you were referring to the Holy Spirit ;)

  3. 3-2-2011

    Steve,

    First, it’s been way too long. We need to try to get together again soon!

    I appreciate the word of caution, and I will definitely keep your concerns in mind.

    You said, “I would have given an open invitation for anyone to bring something to the table and created an environment where it was possible and safe to do so.” We do this every time we get together. Even though someone is scheduled to teach each week, that teaching is usually in discussion form. Even when it’s not, people are always welcomed and encouraged to speak, comment, disagree, etc.

    For example, last week one of our brothers taught about prayer and fasting. If I had to guess, he probably spoke about 1/3 of the time. Other people spoke the other 2/3 of the time.

    I have several reasons for inviting these five people to co-teach with me: 1) They don’t usually speak when we meet together, especially the teenagers. So I hope that they learn that they can add something to our meetings. 2) I want to help them learn how to study and present a lesson based on Scripture. 3) I want to help them learn how to interact with other people while discussing their topic/passage.

    -Alan

  4. 3-2-2011

    Alan, I see it as a perfect example of the teacher, teaching and giving opportunity for others to teach.

  5. 3-3-2011

    Alan,

    Way to go! “…encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”!

    Seems to me that a discipler is encouraging disciples.

    As a young man I would never have opened my mouth to speak in public meetings without such deliberate encouragement.

  6. 3-3-2011

    Jack and John,

    Thanks. I hope it is an encouragement and a challenge to them. I know that teaching (whether prepared or not) is always a challenge for me.

    =Alan

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