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Friday, July 18, 2008

Love Letters (Culture): Appropriate Teaching

As I teach, I want to show others how to teach. Therefore, my lessons must be simple. I cannot produce lessons that appear to take days to prepare. In fact, I shouldn't be trying to "produce" lessons at all.

 

God knew what he was doing when he inspired His Word. Not just the message, but also the form of the message was given so that we can learn. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are stories about Jesus life. They tell the history of Jesus' birth through resurrection. This is a wonderful form that helps people relate to Jesus as if they were following Jesus like the apostles. Other books have different forms that are appropriate to teach the message. Each book is a beautifully crafted work that teaches us something about God and our relationship with Him.

 

Therefore, I want to let God speak to the Kaonde through His word. I don't need to re-write what God has created. My duty is to convey that message cross-culturally. I am here to help explain to the Kaonde what was written to the Jews or Gentiles of the 1st century. Therefore, most of my time should be spent trying to understand the Kaonde culture and determine how to communicate in a way that makes the biblical message clear to them.

 

I believe, the most appropriate lesson for the Kaonde is simply reading the Bible and simplifying or pointing out specific points. Today, I began a study about Jesus through the Book of Matthew. I simply read and summarized Matthew chapters 1-3 and the villagers said I was a great teacher. I had nothing to do with it, they were amazed by the message. Very few Kaonde have read the Bible, so everything is new to them. By simply reading and explaining the message, it is a wonderful teaching for them. I told them that I was simply reading the Bible and that any of them can do the same thing with their family and neighbors. I was trying my best to model how they can evangelize themselves.

 

Hopefully, they will see the example and share the story of Jesus with others. Many of them have Bibles, so as long as they can read or memorize what is read, they can share the message with their family and neighbors.

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