Thursday, July 3, 2014

Training and Mentoring

During these summer months, I have the opportunity to further develop a skill which I deem lacking in myself, and the privilege of incorporating that process into my formal education. I have chosen to discover how to develop a sturdy framework for a teaching curriculum. As part of my coursework, I am required to engage in several theological reflections throughout June, July, and August, which are designed to enhance my critical reflection about the skill, my lack thereof, and any biblical reference points I encounter along the way. I will include some here, and I hope they will be of use to you in your own ponderings and decisions, immediately and in time to come.

I have a Mentor for this skill and a Mentoring Director overseeing the class, and will be referencing them at times, as a matter of course. The first of the reflections if here:



During that last meeting she (my Skill Mentor), echoing the gist of my Mentoring Director’s thoughts a week earlier, helped me realize that my desire for the intended curriculum would certainly be broader than the scope of the TM course. She encouraged me to pick one aspect of the curriculum I had in mind, and to focus in on that for the sake of the summer class. I am sure that my specific attention will yield to a stronger foundation for the project as a whole.

Before that meeting, I had only known that I wanted to complete a curriculum. Now, I have set my sights on developing a framework toward that end. I can see a little bit more clearly that taking the necessary time to begin well will benefit me better than finishing poorly. I need to address questions that will help specify “a teaching curriculum for Christian leaders” to something more along the lines of “the mechanics of the first day’s lesson.”

I think of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt in Exodus 18, before he left Jethro’s company. He was trying to field the people’s questions alone, handling their disputes no matter the intensity. He had no rest all day long. In a similar way, for quite a while I have felt intimidated by the enormity of the task ahead of me, though with a strong sense of calling to exactly that task. The situation is probably best described as one of unresolved tension, where immobility is preferable over simply ‘grinding my wheels,’ getting nowhere.

The curriculum I have in mind has been just that—in my mind—for an extended period of time, taking up my attention without leading to much practical outworking. My tendency is to utilize abstractions to keep ideas from becoming reality, no matter how much promise lies therein for fruition. Like Moses appointed officers, I have now begun to seek counsel about how to give voice to the direction I intend for the curriculum, both long-term and more immediately. I envision that this process will help me to translate my enthusiasm more easily into measurable progress in the days ahead.

My life passion has not died, and has not lessened even after a few years. I believe that God has placed this passion within me, and that by it he is inviting me to partner with him in the redemption of the world through the transformation of those he has appointed to be leaders. I would like to believe that God is just as excited as I am (if not more so) about what it means to nurture my gift of teaching. Otherwise, I am sure I would have lost use for the creation of a teaching curriculum long ago. God is keeping me in pursuit of his plans for me, because of the fire within for seeing Christian leaders, and those following them, experience life change from accepting his invitation to come a little bit closer to him than they were yesterday.

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