Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Teaching Messy Grace

I am in the midst of deciding whether and what I want to teach in the next Sunday school quarter. For me, decision making is usually a process of me initially deciding not to do something based on reasons that negate the need for whatever it is. From there, I try to get help - input from others to justify my immediate and visceral desire to back away from a proposal. Sometimes that help is immediately agreeable to my resistance. Other times I get a backwash of "what? are you stupid? how can you not do this". This time however, I am getting mixed input. Tomorrow may be decision day.

I had initially thought I wanted to teach from "Messy Grace" by Caleb Kaltenbach. I enjoyed the book for many self centered reasons and it was my thought to inflict it on others and I have already been trying to do this by giving away the books. It's been tough giving them away. I am met with skepticism and time issues. I understand both of those and I sympathize. There is also the lack of teaching materials other than the book. In the fall, those materials will be available, but if I do this now, it will be up to me to create the lessons. I am fairly good at that process, but it is time consuming. I also had the thought that maybe no one at my church cares about this stuff - the subject matter of the book. Then there are the usual questions about offending people. I am an opinionated man. I am very conservative in some respects. I am not graceless, but I am finding I am not nearly as graceful as I should be in regard to the issues approached in the book.

Maybe this last statement is the single best reason for doing it. Maybe I need the book's challenge and the challenge of others to push me towards a more graceful approach to my faith. In conversations with some of my brethren, I have found that some of them are more graceful than I am and perhaps I could learn from them. That has been one of the major benefits I have enjoyed as a teacher over the last 17 years. I have learned much and it has effected me in very positive ways. I am thankful I am allowed to teach for this reason. I will think some more on this and decide whether to move forward here shortly.

I told someone last night that maybe I just need to set down and see if I can prepare two or three lessons from the book and see what they look like and sound like. I could use my present class as crash test dummies. They always seem more than willing to put up with my eccentricities. I do love them. We will see what happens.   

See you in class.

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