Summer Institute of Theology
In August, the Summer Institute of Theology was based on the theme of “Teaching & Teachers.” Pastor Wade Mobley, President of the Association Free Lutheran Schools, wanted a course dedicated to teach pastors and leaders how to use an oral method of instruction to teach their people.
This was the first time that an eight-hour course on teaching scripture orally had been offered through our Seminary. The ten students that participated in the class enjoyed the interactive method of engaging the scriptures.
One of the challenges for the church is getting people personally engaged with the scriptures. It is tempting for people who attend worship or Bible study to be intellectually engaged in the study but not personally affected by the content. There is a disconnect between what people know and how they live. People can listen to and even agree with the messages they are hearing but continue to live without allowing the Word to change them.
An oral strategy forces the participants to respond. They commit themselves to an understanding of the text because the instruction is led through questions. Those listening to the story answer questions as if they were actually one of those in the narrative itself. They des
cribe what it would be like to be a patriarch, an apostle, or a blind beggar and they unexpectedly find themselves relating to the personalities of those in the biblical accounts.
When the questions change to application, the learner finds that they have already made a commitment to what they believe because of the answers that they have given. The scripture then becomes the mirror that reveals their heart and the Holy Spirit is the one that moves their soul.
Pastor Kevin Olson