Lots of interesting comments on my first post on this, here and on Facebook. I'll concentrate on the things that I agree with.
First: learning styles. Yes, this absolutely needs to be taken into account. One model that I've liked is this one:
Second: the list in the last post can be jumbled up and shuffled around - it's not a linear process I mostly agree with this, but not totally.
Put these two together and we'd have more of a spiral staircase, with lots of different access points. So the question becomes - do we provide a context within which people can enter in all sorts of different ways?
Those learning styles: Activist - Theorist - Reflector - Pragmatist. How do they fit into 'learning how to be a Christian'?
Third: a comment from Tim on FB, "The problem as I see it is that the NT does not present the apostles and early missionaries as leading Christians through ten-week courses. This doesn't mean that they didn't grow disciples, though. I tried the 'course' approach for years and it just didn't work for anything more than a minority of people in our context. I also noted that even those who had been through the courses were not necessarily practising the disciplines they had learned about. So I've come to the conclusion that the old-fashioned one-on-one approach may well be best. It seems to be working better for me anyway." I liked this a lot, not least because it chimed with my last talk on St Benedict, wherein he described what the Abbot was supposed to do (how he was supposed to be) which was to focus on the monks as individuals. Raises the ghost of George Herbert again though...
So "What would Jesus do?" - in the ASB ordinal the priest is enjoined to 'set the Good Shepherd always before [you] as the pattern of [your] calling'. I can see the following:
- plenty of private prayer time and solitude getting intimate with the Father;
- work with a small group of the 'inner three';
- work with a small group of 'the twelve';
- work with a wider group of disciples (and where Mary Mag?)
- generalised teaching to crowds primarily with parables but also with healing/exorcisms
- prophetic drama and public debate with the religious authorities.
I would say that he modelled a particular understanding of faith, and lived it in the circumstances in which he found himself.
(I'm not sure that he did much of what might today be called 'public service' or 'good works' - that seems to be a liberal distraction - things that make us 'good people' rather than 'people of God' - not that there's anything wrong with being a 'good person'!)
OK time run out; still thinking about this; more later.