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Leading horses to water

02/19/05

Permalink 09:44:37 pm, by fumanchu Email , 520 words   English (US)
Categories: General

Leading horses to water

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." --Old English proverb

Some of our teens at church recently decided they needed more in-depth Bible study. Wednesday nights are outreach-oriented, and draw large numbers of kids. Sunday mornings are lectures (quite often given by yours truly). They wanted something more student-driven, and on a small scale (5 to 8 people).

We had a long and involved discussion last Saturday between the two visionaries (Josh and Fred), myself, and Brent (the interim youth pastor). We thought that such a Bible study might also produce more student leadership within the larger group, and the study topics should be chosen in light of that goal.

Well, today we had the first study. I must say (and did say) it's fun to watch people squirm when they're not used to leadership roles. :) Although I did my best to let them lead, they really did seem like a pack of lost horses for a while. When I lecture, I like to use a mix of declaration ("X is true because of Y") and leading questions ("if Y is true, then what?"). In this study, however, I'm not lecturing (and shouldn't be leading in the traditional sense at all)--I rather hoped I could let them run on, and simply rein them in when needed. But despite having grown up in the church, these guys haven't had any opportunity to lead before, and are therefore slow to start. They can glimpse the end-product they are after, but have no idea how to get from here to there.

So I couldn't simply lecture declaratively; they need to do the research themselves. I also couldn't ask my usual leading questions--the logical leaps are too great. So I spent much of today showing them how to use some of the tools available for study (mostly word-study). There are some great resources online for this which we used today:

[What I haven't found yet online is a tool to find the derivatives of a given word. That is, each Greek word usually has a root word from which it is derived. Most online tools, if they use Strong's numbering system, will have a link to the root for each word. What I'd like is links in the opposite direction: given a word, show me all of the derivative words which claim it as root]

Despite the above, which might sound like criticism, I'm very pleased with the vision and effort these guys have shown so far. I think with a little encouragement and direction (both academic and practical), we're going to see spiritual growth, and more ownership of the youth group by the teens themselves.

1 comment

Comment from: ryan [Visitor]

Awesome, keep us updated. Very intersesting "experiment". ;)

02/22/05 @ 08:03

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