I’ve just had the most delightful time with the 2nd year students. I’m on the train leaving after teaching them on our Pauline studies and evangelism module, part of their Foundation degree in community evangelism.
What a treat to be with a bunch of people that are hard to shut up due to their enthusiasm! The lectures over the past two days where:
1. Exegesis and Hermeneutics. This lecture took place in a cafe and we had a few interruptions from people wanting to know what we were up to and also to chat and say hi. I figure that since Paul did what he did amongst people and in public places of gathering, we need to study him there too! We had great discussion on 1 Corinthians 11 and started to investigate the cultural reasons for Paul’s teaching on hats and hair!
2. St Paul and signs and wonders. This was such a treat as Aliss Creswell lectured us. Aliss humbly taught us about Paul and his example of ministry interspersed with her own adventures of praying for people for healing. I was in tears as she recalled stories of many people who had been healed and had come to faith. It was a remarkable time together as we also prayed together and experienced the presence of God in our midst.
3. St Paul and team work. We evaluated the way Paul worked in a team context and compared our approach to ministry. I shared the story of The Light Project and my own experience over 11 years of always looking to do myself out of a job!
4. Paul and suffering. This was one of the hardest lectures I have delivered. One of the students cried all the way through it. We studied Romans 5 and the pattern of suffering producing endurance which produces character which produces hope. I shared some of my story and also the thinking behind the art exhibition that I held called ‘fragile faith.’
5. St Paul and the body of Christ. I organised another guest lecturer for this, Jonathan Oatridge from Maghull Baptist Church. I explained to the students that I had a hunch that I needed to invite him (I also said that I could have been wrong!) after his lecture the students applauded and said that it must have been a God inspired hunch to invite him! He was inspiring!
6. The gospel according to St Paul. I introduced the students to the use of ‘gospel outlines’- 4 spiritual laws, 2 ways to live, Bridge illustration, 4 points. We began to evaluate them and I asked them to work on a Paul version of a gospel outline. I refered to the teaching in Ephesians of being clothed in Christ as a way of sharing the good news.
7. Missionary methods, St Paul’s or ours? I gave the students work to do in evaluating Rolland Allens old, yet spot on for today book- his book challenges the ‘heavy handed’ way we can lead groups of people rather than allowing room for Jesus to lead and shape a community of new disciples within their own context.
Overall, I had such a good time with the 2nd year light team students. Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and to engage with the teaching that I bring. It has been so exciting.