Now, I don’t keep up with church VBS materials and their markets. As a matter of fact, I didn’t realize until recently (two days ago) that VBS curriculum is big business.* Apparently, it’s very big business. Let me tell you…”vast amounts of money can be made in the service of God Amighty.”**
It was Paul Wilkinson, on his blog (a good one, by the way, to which I’m subscribed), who informed me the sale of VBS materials is indeed big business. I also learned from Paul that a lot of companies are creating these materials really heavy on entertainment and really light on Bible. While I suppose this is a concern to me, it’s not why I’m writing this blog post. Something MUCH more important is taking place. Continue reading
Last week, I spent three nights and parts of four days in Mwakiwasha village, teaching a seminar on CPM. [To read more on what I taught and the nature of that seminar, see cpm training: a turning point in my ministry.] This is an initial report on how I believe that seminar went — both the good and the bad.
There were 15-20 people in attendance at each of the sessions, representing three churches. The group was about half men and half women, with the Mwakiwasha church (the host church) represented far better than the others — as was expected. We spent roughly 20 hours in class and also ate most of our meals together, sometimes discussing further what we’d studied that day. Continue reading
Tomorrow I’m going to Mwakiwasha village to teach the Discovery Bible Study process and Church Planting Movements. I’m posting today, partly to (as per usual) let you guys know what we’re up to in Geita, but mostly to ask you to pray over the seminar.
[If you don't care to read about my plans for evangelism in the villages surrounding Geita, I understand -- this is a long post. But please skip to the end and pray over the requests I've listed. I very much would appreciate that.]
There will be representatives present from four or five churches in the area, totaling 12-20 people. We will begin the seminar with worship on Sunday evening and then three days of classes, likely four classes per day with a time of worship each evening.
The first things I’ll teach (and briefly) are:
- Why group Bible study is important (vs. a lone teacher)
- Why obedience-based Bible study is important (vs. knowledge-based)
- How to do an oral inductive Bible study (a sort of 3-column Bible study)
The reason I’m wanting to teach the above subjects quickly is that once we’ve worked through the above material, the remainder of the seminar’s studies will be done in small groups using the inductive Bible study method. I will very much limit my actual teaching beyond initially touching on these three subjects. Continue reading
Forgive my tone today. I’ve been reading in preparation for Easter sermons, and I’m in a bit of a bad mood. Just before being arrested and crucified, Jesus prays for all the future believers in the world, and much of his prayer is for unity. But we’ve apparently opted to read his words in this way: Continue reading
Matt Dabbs is an associate minister at the Northwest Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Florida. He works a great deal in education and small groups and has one of the best Christian blogs (a truly incredible amount of content) on the internet. He blogs at Kingdom Living, though I particularly want to direct you towards his Bible Class Archive, which offers teaching materials to be used free of charge, provided you credit the author. And there are over a dozen talented teachers who have submitted lessons to his archive.
I’ve asked Matt to offer us a few suggestions to those of us who are Bible teachers. But his ideas will be helpful to any teacher, no matter the subject. Continue reading
Is Cam Newton spiritually gifted at football?
[Don't be turned off by the sports metaphor; this post is not about Cam Newton, but rather about spiritual gifts and what constitutes such... Continue reading
Yesterday was our last Sunday in the United States for a couple of years. We were blessed to worship with Stones River Church in Murfreesboro (our sending congregation). The preacher mentioned Ephesians 4 kind of in passing, and I thought I’d take some time to read it this morning.
Reading then turned into a 3-column study. And that’s what I’m sharing with you guys today. Here is Ephesians 4:7,11-13 in my own words: Continue reading
My task as a missionary is simple: to be a reflection of God’s glory in a culture which is not my own.* And I’m thankful my responsibilities are small and narrow, because I bring so very little to the table. To point others to the infinite worth of God is a job description I can appreciate and, hopefully, accomplish. Continue reading
If you’re looking for a proper July 4th post, you probable want to go to this Fourth of July Primer, or this (somewhat controversial) essay from last year. This post is indeed about freedom, but is written more as a question about Christianity and life in general than a discourse on our American Independence Day. Continue reading
I just got back from a couple of days out in villages, and thought I’d share with you guys a little about my trip in short form. I often get requests for more information about day-to-day life and work in Tanzania: Continue reading