Learning the With-God Life by Doing

Children learning by doing.

Children learning by doing.

Yesterday I wrote a few thoughts on some of the woes visited upon single-parent families–especially when there is no male influence in the household.

I’ve seen a decline in male maturity and responsibility for some time. Not every one, of course, but far too many. One factor that research is now validating is the lack of an influential male parent. I think another is the type of education we now have.

Most girls and a few boys get along well in the sit, read, answer the right question, memorize education system we have developed. Most boys and some girls (many more than we might think) are learners by doing. A friend of mine in the process automation field has often pointed me to a movement called project-based learning.

I think back to when I was learning electronics as a kid. I started by building simple circuits. I learned about the components–resistors, capacitors, coils/inductors, soldering, batteries–and how to put them together. Then I learned to read a schematic–just by looking at the pattern of the schematic knowing a tuner circuit from an amplifier circuit and the like. Then I learned math so that I could know more about the circuits–how much voltage and current is going out compared to how much going in and so forth.

When I went to electrical engineering school, it was all backwards. There was almost no doing. I was bored.

How many boys–and girls–are we losing because of the lack of doing as part of education? Or, how many half-educated people do we have wandering around, lost?

Learning to live with-God

For some reason this morning I got to thinking about all this in the context of Christian living. Are we too much into just memorizing and not enough doing?

I learned in electronics that the schematic diagram was just a representation of the circuit. It really didn’t show me how to do the actual wiring. Sometimes the Bible is like a schematic. I can read Romans and see Paul’s model for spiritual development. It starts with grace and ends with living a good life within that grace

But what if, instead of memorizing Romans, what if we had our “students” live out Romans and then come back to class and discuss how they felt grace in different situations? How they lived up to the expectations of God in a grace-filled life and how they failed?

Kind of like if you did a little mission ministry. You actually performed little acts of service. And you learned to listen to people. You learned to help people. You learned what it means to put other people ahead of yourself. You learned that if your heart was in the right place, then ministry happened. And if your heart just wasn’t right that day how it interfered with your doing. And how to get your heart back into its rightful relationship to God

And then you started to memorize verses because you found you needed to know more to answer questions that came from other seekers. And then you came together to celebrate with joyful songs and praise because of what God had done in the lives of those you touched.

Just a thought from a guy sitting in his living room with a laptop on his lap. Maybe today, I’ll minister to everyone I meet.

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