Dear fellow servants of the Word,
Wise King Solomon observed, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). That certainly is true of books in general, and we can also safely say that it’s true of books about Martin Luther and the Reformation. In fact, it has been said that more books have been written about Martin Luther than any other person in history, except for Jesus Christ. I have never seen actual statistical evidence to back up that assertion, but it does seem reasonable. And over the years Northwestern Publishing House has contributed more than a few titles to that ever-growing list of books on Luther. This Reformation 500 anniversary year, NPH has published four new Luther titles and brought back into print or reissued new editions of several older Luther books. Some are aimed at younger readers and people with little knowledge of Luther. Other books are aimed at pastors and teachers, as well as laypeople who already have some knowledge of Luther and the Reformation. Continue reading
Step learners (just like the name) love to follow steps to learn. They desire goals and practicality.
They prefer to learn by seeing tangible results through practicing what they have learned and following directions one step at a time. They like being active, rather than passive, learners and need to know exactly what is expected, how well the task must be done, and why.
Step learners learn best by drill and repetition, demonstration, direct instruction, and guided practice exercises.
They really like doing things that have an immediate and practical use. They appreciate being acknowledged for thoroughness and detail, and they enjoy praise for prompt and complete work. They are also into competitions when they learn along with immediate rewards, privileges, etc.
Dear Brothers in Christ’s Ministry,
Luther wrote his Small Catechism to help pastors teach God’s Word, especially to children. He could not have imagined the sheer numbers of students who would be armed with the Word of Truth through his little book. No other book of Christian instruction has endured for almost 500 years. Not one! No other book of Christian instruction has been so widely used. It is with a deep sense of awe and gratitude that we consider the blessings God has given to the church through this book. It is truly amazing. Though our world has changed in innumerable ways over these last five centuries, the value and relevance of Luther’s Catechism are just as great today as when it was first written. Continue reading
This is the big difference . . .
The big difference between the disconnected teacher and the engaging teacher is . . .
knowing who you are.
There are four learning styles that individuals use to absorb new information.
Each teacher tends to be naturally good at learning and teaching in one or two of these styles.
The disconnected teachers don’t know their styles and aren’t connecting with ALL the styles of their audience members.
If this sounds like you . . . it’s not your fault.
Bible study is always important. As we study, we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we study, the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith. But because our thinking still is influenced by sin, we are easily distracted by other issues and even allow those issues to take precedence in our lives. That can happen to those of us who handle God’s Word every day. It also can happen to those who come to study with us in our Bible classes.
As we continue our discussion of one of the principles of adult learning—that adults need to be motivated to learn—we are going to focus on the application. Putting effort into crafting application questions will pay dividends by helping the students recognize why the truth that was studied in God’s Word is important to their lives.
How does a pastor help people see why the lesson is valuable for their lives? Continue reading
Dear fellow soul-tenders,
Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us . . . (CW 200:3)
Will you be singing that hymn a few extra times in your congregation this year as you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation?
What will those first two lines of the third verse mean to most of the people in the pews? What do they mean to you? I would have to admit that this is not the way I personally perceive my reality, my everyday life: that it is filled with fallen angels who, if they could have their way, would devour me and all that I hold dear. How often do you take that reality seriously? How often do the members of your congregation face up to this ever-present, world-filling threat? Continue reading
Think of a time when you were on the other side of the Bible class lectern. You were sitting in class, but were only marginally engaged. Bombarded with a cacophony of thoughts, worries, and concerns that kept drowning out the voice of the Bible class leader, you found it hard to keep focused. It wasn’t that the Bible class leader wasn’t prepared or that his teaching methods were particularly weak. It was just that, at the moment, the thoughts about life derailed your concentration.
Many of the people sitting in front of you as you teach God’s Word face similar challenges. Their thoughts are overshadowed by worries and concerns. The challenges in their homes or places of work might seem to be more important or might simply distract them from focusing on, for example, a Bible study about Baptism, or the book of Romans, or on the subject of prayer.
One of the principles of adult learning is that adults need to be motivated to learn. A strong motivator for learning is the clear understanding of how the learning will be useful to them. Continue reading
Dear Brothers in Christ,
As you are reading this post, it will already be December. For pastors that means Advent and the getting-ready-for-Christmas season. Even so, I would like to take the opportunity to talk a little about Reformation 500. Such an anniversary comes along only once every five hundred years (obviously), and because this is such a milestone anniversary, we will think about, celebrate, and thank God for the blessings he has given us through the Reformation–but not only on one day or for one month in the fall of 2017. More than usual, the Reformation and what it means for us will be on our minds throughout the entire next year. Continue reading