DISCOVERY BASED LEARNING
The diversity of the Uniting Church is seen in many ways including competing worldviews, demographics and faith experiences. Luke 4:16-21 shows us that different ministries are complementary and not competitive. Good news preachers, and liberationists, healers and jubilee workers are all part of the work of the Messiah Jesus.
This is Good News for us, because we can recognize these different streams within the Uniting Church. Diversity of approach also arises from the nature of discipleship. The journey into faith and onward in discipleship has many stages and different approaches. Therefore, our journey of discovery does not provide a pre-set single conclusion that everybody must come to. Instead, by careful selection and use of trained facilitators, the way forward in God can be practical, positive, appropriate and exciting.
By using a discovery-based process, we affirm what our people already know and value. We ask them to learn from their experience, and then make decisions about the next step. At each stage, they are the ones who hold the responsibility to find ways for practical steps to move forward. We have several thousand members who have for decades taken bread and wine in Jesus name – our theology says that has fed them, but our ecclesiological practise has hidden their light under a committee.
But not all Australian churches are struggling as we are. There are some things we can learn, and thus sensitized we can with authenticity adapt them into our own identity and calling. This proposal is about training trainers. It requires the selection and training of trustworthy, passionate and astute individuals to teach set courses which facilitate the congregations in their faith sharing journey. The learning must produce action. In order for this to occur there are a number of interlinked proposals that deal with the leadership, accountability, time frames and budgets.
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