How It Went In Mouk:
Well, typically it begins from the time you start teaching unbelievers in Phase 1 of the Chronological teaching program, before you even have believers.
You start by modeling good teaching behaviors yourself. You prepare ahead of time. You practice. You think about what will need to be explained clearly. You get other people to help you hold materials, or be a part of demonstrations, or do the acting (when illustrating a point).
Later on, after they are believers and literate, then they can read the scripture portion, or read a part of the lesson. And later in private you encourage them in what they do well, and point out things they can improve on. And then you give them opportunities to do improve.
As confidence is gained and faithfulness demonstrated, they can take over more and more of the teaching. After all, we want to work ourselves out of a job! The one qualifier is that they must hear the teaching themselves first, before they teach someone else.
That process started among the Mouk 30 years ago.
How It is Going In Lusi Today:
Today, it is our Mouk co-workers, who are working on training Lusi Bible Teachers. While some of our Mouk co-workers have been Christians almost 30 years, it has been a while since they have seen this modeled. And since our co-workers have ownership of this work, things don’t always run according to model. They are modeling, and they are training. However, lets just say, due to cross-cultural complications between Mouk and Lusi, it’s messy.
So our work around is to have a “Bible Teacher Training Session” about once every other month in our village, run by our team for the newer believers.
Many of our new Bible Teachers, being young believers and still being discipled themselves, haven’t challenged all their old ways of thinking. So at our January training meeting, our team decided to address, “What does “Christian” leadership look like?”
Our co-worker Kamaes opened the meeting with a devotional for everyone. Then I taught on “Old Models of Leadership” versus “New Models”, i.e. those found in the Gospels and Acts mostly. Why the Gospels and Acts? Because we haven’t gotten as far as Timothy and Titus and teaching on qualifications for elders in the Bible Lessons, so instead we used portions of the Bible that they are already familiar with in the Gospels and Acts.
But instead of just lecturing, I did something a bit different for them. We ‘brainstormed’ on the chalkboard about what traditional leadership looked like. I.e. what traditional PNG “Big Men” did and didn’t do, etc.
1. He goes first, and takes the best for himself.
2. Does things to make his own name famous.
3. Agrees with others, but then follows his own thinking.
4. Breaks laws because he can get away with it.
5. Do nice things for other people, to put them under obligation to do nice things for him.
6. Harangues, threatens, cajoles people to do what he wants them to do, so they respond out of fear.
Interestingly enough, the list they came up with was pretty much what Anji and I had previously come up with! There were several things that I had to ‘prompt’ them on, but otherwise, we were all on the same page. Likewise, they came up with at least two things that I had not written down! Good stuff and I think it was an exercise that helped them think, because they participated.
Also interesting, this style of leadership is not just a PNG phenomenon. Most of those things on that list, we can see in our own society, with people who are held up on pedestals and are “important”. Why the similarities, even though this is cross-cultural? Because, they all have “Self” at the center in the driver’s seat. And as sinners, “Self” is very important.
Then, on the other side of the blackboard, I listed some ‘new’ ways or ‘qualifications’ or instructions / directives as we read through various Scriptures in Acts and the Gospels. The goal of this was to get them to re-evaluate their worldview, and what leadership is based on. Jesus had a very different paradigm.
Mark 9:33-35 Answered “Who is the greatest?”
Matthew 20:25-28 and Luke 22:24-26 Those who serve others.
Acts 6:1-4 Jesus is first, the disciples followed His Words and His actions. And it is important to obey Him!
These are just a few that we looked at. By the time we were done, it was very clear that there was very little overlap between old and new!
After comparing what their old worldview and God’s worldview, we wrapped up with a few other Scriptures. Particularly Acts 2:42 as a model for how our meetings – and our lives together as believers – should look.
That teacher training meeting all took from 9 in the morning until after 1 pm, but I think it was a very good meeting.
But it is not just about the meeting. After the teaching is over, if things are going as they should, the Lusi Bible Teachers and and our Mouk co-workers hangout together, and go over what stuck out to them.
This repetition is very cultural, and helps to reinforce what they heard, and hopefully helps them to apply it to their own lives. This is the beginning of Lusi Bible Teacher training.