In an attempt to encourage the retelling of Bible stories and holistically engaging Scripture, I developed an approach I call Storymakers. It is an approach to reading and engaging Scripture that is both simple and profound, that pays attention to the text and also one’s personal story. Because of its simplicity, participants have little difficulty in learning and practicing it. In this article, I explain the foundational elements that underpin Storymakers and give a description of its actual practice through its five movements.
Key Words: Bible study, lectio divina, Scripture meditation, small group Bible study
The fact that the Bible transforms lives, or rather, the engagement with scripture transforms lives, begs the question: How? This article addresses this question by first considering two prior questions: For whom was the Bible written? Why was the Bible written? How we answer these two questions will influence what we believe about, and therefore how we teach the Bible for transformation.
To the first question, I suggest the Bible was written for an elect community, the people of God and therefore how it transforms will have something to do with that community, more particularly, where we teach the Bible. To the second question, I suggest that the Bible was written to make God known. Most of the rest of the article addresses what this means and how we can teach in ways where
God is known in loving, experiential and obedient relationships. Therefore, the article concludes, not with a method for teaching, but with suggestions for teaching to encounter the Living God.
a poem on 9/11/01
Poem by Jackie L Smallbones
Teaching Bible in small groups is a common event in the church, but is not always as productive as it might be. The task of teaching is ultimately about transformation of lives. Keeping this outcome central in our thinking will lead us to a teaching approach which has three distinct sections. Students are first invited to remember and reflect upon the passage, then to discover insights from the passage to shape their thinking, and finally to evaluate and respond in relation to their own lives. Practical suggestions to enact each section of the Bible study are offered.
The author suggests that the present crisis in Christian Education can be reversed when leaders in the discipline reconsider their own personal lives and roles. His contention is that the Christian educator can learn from the roles of mentor and spiritual director and thus enhance her/his role as educator.
The author responds to "Teaching the Bible: The Church's Unfinished Task" by Leland Ryken and James Wilhoit which appeared in the Winter 1990 issue of the Christian Education Journal.
Phillip Kirsch's article, "Personal Interaction: The Missing Ingredient in Christian Education" (Journal of Christian Education, vol. 3, no.1) forms the basis of this article. Kirsch drew on three lines of evidence to demonstrate that the problem with Christian education is a lack of personal interaction. In this article, Ms. Smallbones argues that Kirsch's evidence is pragmatic rather than biblical and doesn't form a good criterion for evaluation. She agrees that something is wrong and suggests the real problem is a fear of letting the Holy Spirit control.
The purpose of this article is to explore the questions: What is Christian education: How can it be done? The author maintains that an understanding of what it means to be Christian is vital to methodology. The schooling-instructional model is shown to teach that being Christian means knowing and understanding Scripture. The author argues that begin Christian means relationships with God as Father and with fellow Christians; therefore, the instructional model must be supplemented with the socialization model.
This article compares and contrasts Thomas Groome's theological statements concerning the purpose of Christian education with an evangelical position. A discussion and critique is also made of Groome's praxis way of knowing and his dialectical hermeneutic. Implications are made for evangelical Christian education and suggestions are given for the use of shared Christian praxis in evangelicalism.