On November 21 Saturday 12:30 pm, the 7th annual conference was held at Leningrad house in Chicago center. There were 21 participants including Samuel Mukwedeya from St. George UBF from Canada. The teacher’s conference began with delicious lunch together.
Key note speech on Luke 17:7-10, “We are unworthy servants.”— Isaac Choi
In this passage, the master did not even recognize or thank for his servant’s hard work. It was because servants were to serve their master faithfully. In other words, their job is service to their master to the end. Sometime we feel that we deserve extra credit for serving God. Mostly because we are serving little one’s ministry as teacher on top of 1:1 Bible teacher, self-supporting, family and so on.
But we must remember that obedience to God is not something extra we do; it is our duty. Jesus is not rendering our service as meaningless or useless, nor is he doing away with rewards. Here, Jesus is warning useless self-esteem and spiritual pride of the religious leaders of the time.
Book reports --- Amy Stasinos, Birgit Pierce and Tim McEathron
(*Chicago CBF distributed educational book, “Teaching to change lives” by Dr. Howard Hendricks to our teachers in January 2015. And we had book reports among our teachers in teacher’s conference.)
In schools, churches, sanctuaries—whatever the teaching situation may be, the name of the game these days seems not to be teaching, but covering material. And as a result, we see unmotivated students who, rather than be engrossed by the lesion and enjoy it, merely endure it…at best. Students who couldn’t care less about how the truths they’ve been exposed to can change their lives.
This book is about seven strategic concepts in teaching, and notice them “laws”—principles, rules. To you as a teacher—to stimulate your thinking, to stir your feelings and to spur you on to action—this book presents seven basic principles, in the form of an acrostic:
- The Law of the Teacher, simply stated, is this: If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow.
- The Law of Education: the way the people learn determines how you teach.
- The Law of Activity: Your task as a communicator is not to impress people, but to impact them; not just to convince them, but to change them.
- The Law of Communication: We take concepts and feelings and actions, translate them into words, then communicate them through speech—which requires two things: preparation and presentation.
- The Law of the Hear: Teaching that impact is not head, but heart to heart.
- The Law of Encouragement is this: Teaching tends to be most effective when the learner is properly motivated.
- The Law of Readiness is this: The teaching-learning process will be most effective when both student and teacher are adequately prepared.
If you boil them all down, these seven laws essentially call for a passion to communicate. When you start practicing the seven laws, you’ll find your teaching to be far more exciting and fulfilling than you ever thought possible, because you’ll see life-change in your students.
Gathering 2015 Conference reports—Helen Miranda and Helen Jung
(*On May 13-15, 2015 nine Chicago CBF teachers participated in conference was sponsored by David C Cook company which is publishing the learning resources, at Geneva, Illinois.)
The main theme of Gathering 2015 was “the Source” and with a question, “Is your family ministry connected?” There were four main gathering meetings: God is Our Source, God is Provider, God is Enough and God is Our Peace. Also there were four breakout sessions with seventeen speakers. They dealt with various kind of subjects to family ministry as well as children ministry.
Special lecture —“Blessed is the one …who meditates on his law”--- P. Ron Ward
(The importance of Bible testimony writing)
(*In the past, children wrote one or more pages with a personal application that helped them to grow. Now they are writing just a few lines or even one line, and it was superficial: many do not write. We want to motivate and restore them through their teachers with this special lecture.)
P. Ron analyzed the reasons in several ways: UBF in general has weakened in testimony writing and sharing. Many leaders do not share all together as they did in the past. Many campus meetings do not include testimony writing and sharing. Though many people talk about this, they do not practice it. Though CBF teachers may emphasize it, parents do not practice and children do not take it seriously.
What shall we do? Three bad things: Knee-jerk reactions are short-lived. Blaming others makes the problem worse. Compulsory approaches have mixed result. Three good things: Pray that the thirst for God’s presence may motivate us once again to seek the Lord with all our hearts through his living words. Cultivate a deeper and more intimate practice of engaging with God’s words that bear spiritual fruits in our own lives. Boldly, wisely, prayerfully encourage those under our care to do the same because we know it is the most blessed life.
P. Ron took Psalm 1:1-6 to restore our thirst to the words and bear spiritual fruits in our lives as the most blessed.
- Delight in the law of God—“Delight” is defined in the dictionary as a high degree of pleasure of enjoyment; joy; rapture. The phrase “his delight” implies that this is a very personal and primary pursuit. We were created to delight in God. The word “Eden” means “delight.” It is part of being human.
God delights in us. Ps 147:11. “…the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Ps 149:4. “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” God wants to share treasures with his beloved ones. Jr 33:3. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” The new Covenant! We can find real and everlasting joy, strength, wisdom and grace in the Lord and his precious words.
- Meditate on it day and night--- “Meditate” means “to engage in thought on contemplation; reflect.” In Hebrews, it is a verb that means “to think intently and at length, as for spiritual purposes.” The literal Hebrews word means “to coo, growl, mutter, read in an undertone, to speak, proclaim.” It has been compared to a cow chewing the cud.
According to Brian M. Abshine, “Thinking it through; unfolding the meaning of a passage; a daily time of meditation. Meditation is the process of thinking through a biblical concept over and over again, seeing its implications and applications in every area of our lives. The more we think, consider and ‘chew’ over the idea, the more we see just how it applies to our own lives.” So meditating on and reading are two different things.
- Meditation goes beneath the surface. Helen Cepero (a minister at Evangelical Covenant church & teacher on faculty at North Park Theological seminary): “Journaling as a spiritual practice: Encountering God through Attentive writing.”
- Meditation is like deep see diving. When one walks along the white sand of the beach and looks out at the water, it is beautiful. Even greater beauty beneath the water. When one puts on fins and goes snorkeling they can discover varied coral reef which is unique in all the world as fish of indescribable variety and color. In the same way, the deep treasures of Scripture are uncovered and become ours when we dig into them and allow them to enter our minds and hearts and deep subconscious until we meditate on them day and night.
Jesus said in Mt 13:45-46: “Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
- How can we meditate practically? Memorize and recite Scripture. Dr. Samuel Lee read the Bible passage repeatedly before writing a message. Even though it was a familiar passage, he read it out loud over and over again until the spirit of the passage moved his heart.
Write it down. After encountering God and hearing his words and receiving impressions on our souls, we are full of inspiration. But we probably don’t fully understand what we have received or how to apply it. The habit of writing it down helps us to think logically and systematically about what we have learned from God. New insights and more precise understanding comes through the process of writing.
- Further benefits of writing. In addition, writing provides a record of our encounters with God. We human beings so easily forget what we learned and experienced. Though we are living in a moment of time, we have both a history and a future.
Cepero, in her book, teaches us how to reorient the present in light of the past and in respect to the future as well. As eternal beings, we need to remember where we have been, live in the present moment and know where we are going.
Sitting down to write a Bible reflection is a good way to keep one’s own identity in a sin-sick world and to have a perspective on past, present and future.
- The outcome of meditating on the law. Psalm 1:3, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
Open discussion altogether: “How can we help children to write Bible testimony for their growth?”
As the result of discussion, we want to apply what we learned from the special lecture to our CBF children in this year so that we may evaluate the impact in next teacher’s conference.