Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Responsibility of Teachers and Learners

As a communicator/teacher of Scripture, part of the responsibility is help people see Scripture, perhaps in a new light, with the prayer that God will not only show them something new, but continue to work within, "carrying on" that which He's "begun (a reference to Philippians 1:6).

Scripture seems to illustrate this happens in a variety of ways. Jesus often told stories with little or no explanation, while the Pauline epistles often include very little, if no stories at all.

Often communicators can become trapped in a particular style of communicating. Part of this may be entrenched in training, education or personality, but as communicators our communication aptitude must extent beyond our own personal tendencies.

Intentional communication takes into consideration there are multiple people with a variety of learning preferences. Our prayerful aspiration is to make a meaningful, memorable and transformative learning encounter.

Teachers should also be perpetual learners and students. Being a student/learner isn't merely a passive endeavor. Learning requires not only humility, but intentionality as well.

Jesus expected people to wrestle back through the story, like one would turn a gem, seeking to extract as much application and insight as possible. On the other hand, Paul would often weave key words and themes throughout his letters, while addressing needs at hand, thus rendering a more focused destination to ponder.

For both,
learning and discovery happened as the audience would listen, reflect and pray. And, the same it true today. Optimal communication transpires as teachers are responsible to engage the audience and the audience is intentional about engaging the message.

However, regardless of the setting, ultimately, whether we are in the role of the teacher or the posture of the learner, we are responsible.

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