I live for the light in the eye! There is no greater reward than seeing someone learn something valuable.
To me, teaching is much more than guiding a student through a textbook or a set of lessons. It is more than putting information into their memory. Teaching is shaping an interactive experience and two-way conversation to help a person understand Scripture well enough to teach it to someone else. This is my method when giving individual Bible studies or teaching a class.
"Every teacher should see to it that his work tends to definite results. Before attempting to teach a subject, he should have a distinct plan in mind, and should know just what he desires to accomplish. He should not rest satisfied with the presentation of any subject until the student understands the principle involved, perceives its truth, and is able to state clearly what he has learned." (Ed 233)
Patterns of Prophecy seminar
Now is still a good time to follow up the Pale Horse Rides series, and a class based on Patterns and Principles of Prophecy is the way to do it. Your church, or your home (see living room evangelism below), can enjoy the blessings that all three campmeeting classes did this previous summer. Two at Washington and one at Redwood campmeetings grew throughout the weeks and the reviews averaged 5 stars.
"Please bring this in the churches because it focuses on Bible-only, NOT opinion."
"This needs to be in the churches to show God is in charge."
"I love the overview presentation and fitting all things into a gap-free outlook. I love your spiritual applications since all these prophecies are about Jesus and God and love and mercy."
"This would be a good weekend seminar for our churches to help us not repeat the actions of the Jews."
"It is not another prophecy class where they are gonna pick verses from all over the place."
"I learned about keeping prophecy simple."
"I will go through the guides until I can do it blindfolded, so I can explain."
"The best lesson was how to make a spiritual connection vs only dates and history."
"Very good chart. I will use it with others."
"I like the teaching style--moving through slowly. I have done a decent amount of study of Daniel, but I am learning much in this class. It is a blessing."
Every workshop was interactive with questions and answers from both teacher and students. They were conducted in a teach-the-teacher format so that the students were familiar with how to share the concepts in their home churches. This interactive method, along with the simple reading of the prophecies using in-text markers and charts, was highly praised.
In the class we develop a prophetic timeline starting with the prophecy of the Seed's first coming given to Adam and Eve. Enoch later added the prophecy of Christ's second coming.
We then examine that same timeline expanded by Moses. The Hebrew religious calendar that starts with Passover and ends with the Day of Atonement and Jubilee. The pattern repeats and progresses.
It then provides a framework into which Daniel places the empires and the cleansing of the sanctuary. The spiritual pattern being developed makes the interpretation of Daniel 9 almost automatic--no gaps, no outside monsters, look inside church history for the abomination of desolation. The cleansing of the sanctuary then becomes much simpler to interpret, and all this understanding takes place without distracting dates and history. The readers understand--not merely memorize--the prophecies and why they were given and how they are connected. They are then ready for a later, second round that dives into every textual and historical detail.
The reader is also ready to incorporate Matthew 24 and to appreciate the 7x7 outline of Revelation based on the sanctuary. While the reader cannot explain every little detail like Uriah Smith or Mervyn Maxwell, they can lead another person through a straightforward reading of Daniel and Revelation in an organized, intelligent manner. This goes a long ways towards leading their student to the historical interpretation and away from the futurist.
Whether the class is for teaching the teachers or for instructing novice students of prophecy (Adventist or non-Adventist), at least 6 hours should be scheduled. 8 hours would be better to give more time in Revelation. Contact me now to schedule your workshop.
Sample workshop schedule
Session 1: Basic principles and timeline
Session 2: Prophecies of Moses and Daniel 2
Session 3: Timelines of Daniel 7-8
Session 4: Abominations in Matthew and Daniel 9
Session 5: Sanctuary and Revelation
Ideal sessions are 90 minutes. Audiences really enjoy session 5, but it can be optional or divided into sermon(s).
One schedule could be Thursday night, Friday night, Sabbath afternoon, and Saturday night. Another could start on Friday night and end on Sunday. The schedule could be compressed if you wanted to devote Sabbath school and church service to a session instead. Or, a week of evenings is another way to schedule.
Living room evangelism
For twenty years I was an academy teacher, dean, and principal. I watched a lot of students go through the system only to leave the church. With varying degrees of validity, these Millennials and Gen X'ers now have many personal and intellectual reasons for their decision.
I wish I could say I owned the silver bullet that would bring them all back, but what I can say with certainty is that repeating the same old list of do's and don'ts and proof texts will not work. Lectures and large meetings rarely work. Instead, they need relationships repaired, gaps filled in their understanding, their thinking processes clarified, and an experience with God as a truly loving Person.
Returning to God and the church can be a long, protracted, back and forth process, but what can be done in a brief amount of time is open their minds to new possibilities. This encourages them to hang around spiritual truth rather than jump off the cliff of secularism.
What this group needs is something I call living room evangelism. Invite me and one or a few (keep it personal) of the people for whom you are concerned to your living room for relaxed teaching that gets to the basics of God and their concerns. (Sometimes this is not geographically practical, so there is always email and phones.) Some of their questions will be theological and some will be institutional. The answers they need must be honest, informed, unbiased, and springing from a deep level of spiritual truth.
Agreement is never guaranteed, but by talking frankly and lovingly and with a sincere listening ear, I have seen almost every student I ever dealt with soften and reconsider their positions. I see the same thing happening now with this same group in their adulthood. Contact me about your concerns. Let's pray together to see what we can do by the grace of God for the peace and salvation of souls.
Pretty little students all sitting in their rows.
Teacher standing in the front making sure they know.
Cookie cutter schooling: bending, shaping, molding.
"Get in line." "Memorize." Or you get a scolding.
Young and precious people board the yellow tube.
Conforming, molded students graduate like cubes.
Who along the way asked them, What's your purpose?
Who along the way unfolded instead of molded?
pattern mastery is superior to proof-text memorizing
Faith, Hope, and Love seminar
This series of presentations is based on the first book of the Eternity Explained series, From Zero to Infinity. It's purpose is to lead the reader from zero knowledge of God to a position where a loving God makes sense. This might seem unnecessary for an Adventist audience, but it will actually strengthen their faith and make their spiritual foundation stronger in a very real and practical way, based on Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy. They will also have an entirely new method of reaching unbelieving friends.
This series of presentations gets at the heart of the great controversy and Christ's sacrifice without all the religious language. It shows how every person is already spiritual because of their capacity for trust, hope, and love. These motivations are nourished only by real-world patterns that are predictable, progressive, and profitable. This naturally leads to our need of an infinite good person (God) to eternally generate them and solve the problem of evil.
This approach is the radical opposite of the obey-or-burn approach. And it leaves the audience in a much better frame of mind to approach their own religious experience and their outreach methods. Contact me now to schedule your seminar.