Today I am reading Called to Reach: Equipping Cross-Cultural Disciplers by William R. Yount & Mike Barnett. This is the text for the class I am helping to teach at New Hope Christian College.
“Teaching Teams” is a major theme in the chapter on “Developing a Relational Character.” As I read the book, I received a new insight on why the disciples did so well in carrying forward the gospel after Jesus left them for heaven. We often wonder why such a bunch of ordinary people accomplished extraordinary results. One of the reasons is that Jesus took three years forming the twelve into a self-supporting team. When pressure was directed at the gospel, the leaders of the church closed ranks, built each other up, and responded as a team. Even Peter would have failed as an individual, but as a team, they were unstoppable.
In missions, the goal is for the missionary to eventually leave a self-sustaining church. Whenever that happens, it happens for the same reason in the 21st century as it did the 1st: we have created a team that incarnates God’s truth in loving mutual support.
I am also reading Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. This is not as exciting as the above-mentioned book, but it is very helpful. It takes the great concepts I just learned about online education and converts them into a step-by-step process for organizing an online course. Personally, I need both approaches: the philosophical overview, and this practical hand guide. How often do we present just one or other, and shortchange the people we are ministering to?