Teaching People to Live the Story

I’ve begun a new project at work this week.  As director of education at Wellspring Church, I’m taking a fresh look at the enrichment programs we offer to our adults.

In the past, we’ve primarily done interesting classes here and there, typically revolving around the interests and skills of the people teaching them.  We would do a study of Esther because an elderly woman wanted to encourage other women to take their rightful and active place in the Kingdom.  We would offer a class on parenting because, well, we hadn’t done one in a while.

These have all been good classes, but the approach is unsatisfying.  There has been little method to our madness.

As I’ve been brainstorming some new ideas about what we want to accomplish through our enrichment programs, I’ve been coming back to a theme again and again.  The theme is story.

I want, naturally, for the people at my church to become biblical Christians.  What I mean is, I want them to exhibit lives that flow out of the story God began with Adam, Abraham, and Israel, the story that reached its climax with Jesus, continued on through the apostles, and is still active today.  They do not have to know the Bible inside and out, but I do want them living in such a way that others would see them and say, “That person is part of Christ’s family.”  In NT Wright’s words, I want them to be “fifth act people.”

Connected to this, I want our people to know their place in the story.  I want them to know their unique gifts, abilities, and passions.  I want them to recognize how those unique combinations fit into the things the Lord is doing in and around them.  And then I want them to get excited about living it.

So that’s the project.  Does it make sense?  This feels a lot like new territory for me, so any input anyone’s got, I’ll take it.


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