Teaching in General
In the experiential learning cycle, one of the four movements or learning styles is reflection, which fits well with the prayer and devotion lessons that we will reflect on during this unit. Reflection is an important phase in the learning process and is likely the preferred learning style of some of your class members. So, all of us need reflection in order for Bible study to be transformational and some need reflection even more than others. How do we reflect? Take time. Ask questions with no easy answers and listen. Become comfortable with silence. Imagine. Pray not just with words, but listen to God and simply rest in God’s presence. Feel. Use intuition not just logic. Lectio Divina is a good reflective, prayerful, reading of scripture that has been used by Christians through the years.
Sometimes when I teach, I’ll ask a question, but say, “Don’t answer for a few moments.” Often when I do this, a person who rarely speaks up in class will answer the question and usually with an insightful answer. Some people are reflective learners. They need time to reflect on questions and to process the group dialogue before they are ready to participate. In a fast moving dialogue they may not get a chance to reflect and offer their insights.
Introduction to the Unit
I hope you enjoy this unit. Holy Habits—giving, prayer, and fasting—can make a difference in our church. Let see what can happen when we practice Holy Habits.
Visit our prayer room and tell your class about it. Located on the second floor of the sanctuary down the hall from the offices, the prayer room has comfortable furniture, an amazing antique piano, and some excellent devotional books including many classics of Christian devotion. While there be sure to notice, on the fireplace mantle, the memorial to Jane Pixley, one of our late members who believed in and practiced prayer fervently. This is a good month to remember Jane’s example.
As already noted there are a number of good devotional books in the prayer room. Daniel Wolpert in his book, Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices (available in the library and in my office) offers a variety of devotional experiences you might use with your class. I have written an article on spiritual disciplines, Prayer: Being a Disciple Community, that I’ll place in the library if you’d like to take a look at it.
Teaching in General