Tanzanians learning afresh from the Bible
Posted on: 27th May 2021
CMS missionaries Mike and Katie Taylor have served at Munguishi Bible College for more than 10 years. They share the joy and blessing of a recent Bible intensive course and the benefits of learning from each other.
Throwing the old plan out
Our six-week intensive course has recently finished, and we’ve seen some real growth in our students. As the course could be taught this time without external regulatory pressures, the program was designed to be more practical and relevant to ministry.
After the first lesson of Mike’s preaching class, he threw out his three-week plan and did something entirely different, which ended up being a positive time for all. As a class and in small groups the students could workshop together and learn how to read the passage in order to understand. He moved at a pace that was useful, with a focus on process rather than outcomes.
Then after one week, Mike was able to point out that he didn’t actually ‘teach’ the students anything, if ‘teach’ means giving them information. All they learnt they gleaned themselves, by reading context, different translations, a preaching guide, and by helping each other. The background of three students in particular, helped the whole group have a positive culture of learning, spiritual growth, and giving new Bible reading ideas a go. Mike just facilitated that learning process.
Another joy from this course was evening Bible study with the students. We looked at a prepared study on Titus and 1 Thessalonians, and the students took turns in leading. It was really encouraging seeing them prepare well and take it seriously. We also looked at how to use the Swedish Method for Bible study.1 Again, they practised leading. And here’s what warms our hearts: two students declaring, “We are going to go home and start groups and read the Bible like this with youth in our villages”.
What we hope for the future
We pray and hope that the insights the class gathered can be taken back home and applied every day in reading and teaching the Bible. There remains a significant challenge of old habits and expectations from others. But we pray that these students, having seen that they can do it, will seek to work hard at understanding the Bible and sharing it with others.
Mike and Katie ask us to pray that the insights gained from this class will stick now that the students have returned home.