What you say you believe doesn’t really matter does it? At least not in words… How you live is way more interesting, revealing, and truth-telling. Why, then, do we say things to students/youth like, “You have to decide what you believe for yourself. That is the most important thing.” Shouldn’t we encourage them to practice their faith instead of practicing their defense of their faith?
For example, spending hours and hours explaining what “inerrancy of Scripture” and what an “errant view of Scripture” is seems less helpful and less worthwhile than helping a student understand why bullying other kids at school for believing differently is out of line with the teachings and ways of Christ in whom they are deciding to “believe.”
It’s the connection that seems to be missing in Sunday School and other such teachings. Do some concepts have to be explained in words? Sure. But what are we spending our time on? Are we ever addressing the lives of our students? Did we address the fact that when the students came into the classroom they were extremely rude to the boy who looks different from them and that’s why he left the classroom never to return that Sunday morning?
There’s a laziness I see in teaching students about the ways of Christ. There isn’t thought involved and no prophetic voice. Using prefab curriculum isn’t bad, but it shouldn’t be a crutch for a lack of preparation and forethought and love for the souls that come through the door in a church to be pastored.
Perhaps it just takes a leader who is living it out to be able to teach it. Teachers are supposed to be held to higher standards, not simply volunteers who are too worn out to care if the students can understand and apply what’s being said.
More care is needed or else we reinforce a words-only “Christian”. Laziness of mind is a plague that has affected me too. It’s just worth it not to be lazy minded and not to be lazy in general. Let’s tell stories from our lives, let’s let students go out and have something to practice like considering others better than themselves like Christ did, and let’s let them come back and talk about how hard it was or how it made them see someone differently. Let’s not talk so much about how much we know about our religion. Let’s live together and love together and not only debate together. And they will know that we are his disciples by our love.
This is not something many would disagree with in principle, but it seems to get played out by teachers who only read and study and never go outside of their offices. I’m tired of hearing what you think about things/what your -isms and -ians and favorite authors and speakers are … i want to know how to live and i want you to care about me and i want to get to know you and maybe in that way I can get to know Christ in myself, in you and in the world.
Don’t talk so much. Live a little.