My wife is a certified ESL teacher (English as a Second Language). In order for her foreign language students to really participate in her class, she must first bridge the language canyon between them. Many times those students who are learning English feign disinterest rather than engage in what is going on in her class. It is not that they don’t want to participate. They simply can’t. They speak a different language. This reality has important ramifications for those who would disciple others.
In every instructional relationship, at least two languages are spoken. Disciplers generally speak teacher. Those who are discipled by them often speak a different language. They speak student. Have you ever noticed that some teachers suck up all of the oxygen in the room where their students sit. They get so caught up in the sound of their own voice that they never stop to ask, “Are my students getting anything that I am saying?” The opportunity for “talk back” between teachers and students is essential in a learning environment. This is how both teachers and students evaluate whether or not an exchange of ideas is occurring in any meaningful way.
Most teachers don’t speak student. So, who do they focus on? It is the bilingual students who not only speak student, but also teacher. They are the ones who get the majority of a teacher’s attention. And why is that? Because they validate and encourage the teacher. Bilingual students who speak teacher give instructors the feedback they want. They make them feel like they are doing a good job.
But what about the ones who only speak student? As a general rule, they get less attention. The result? Those students hide behind masks of indifference, inadequacy, timidity, and even hostility. Sadly, most teachers are totally unaware that a language barrier even exists. Others may know that there is a problem, but are unwilling to give the effort needed to learn the student’s language. Eventually, those students fall behind. Many quit trying.
Most would-be teachers cannot see the forest for the trees. If only they would take their eyes off of those that speak their language and looked at those who don’t. They would see the fields that are “white for the harvest.” If only ineffective teachers would do something different, something that could actually make a difference in the lives of those they are not connecting with. They can, but it won’t be easy.
God speaks in concrete ways. This is evident in the fact that the Bible’s teaching rests on the individual stories of men, women, boys, and girls, people who actually lived thousands of years ago. They were people just like the ones who live around us today. They had the same hopes, dreams, disappointments, challenges, failures, and successes. When we learn to tell their stories with accuracy in the order in which they occurred, the majestic meta-narrative of God’s plan for HIStory unfolds. This is the story that reveals the very nature and character of God. This is a story that crosses all language barriers. It is time for the disciples of Messiah Jesus to do something different and break out of the way ministry is currently being done in most places. If one is to teach like Jesus, a teacher must learn to speak the language of their students. If they refuse, they will become irrelevant.
Speaking of something different, we serve a multilingual God. He not only speaks teacher and student, He speaks God and man. Speaking the language of mankind came at a huge cost for the Son of God. It cost Him His life.
Here at Disciple Daily, we have been learning to speak student. It has been a difficult journey, but we have found our voice in the Story of God. In spite of the challenges, it has been worth it all. Now, we want to help you find your voice too. We can help you to learn to speak student. We are inviting you to become part of something that could change the way discipleship is done and the way the Good News of the Gospel is shared.
We have identified key events of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation. Each event is presented through a story that comes right out of the Bible. You may be asking, “what is different about this?” Maybe you are thinking, “I already know a lot of Bible stories” or “stories are for kids.”
If you are asking these questions right now, here are some questions for you:
1. Do you know these stories in the order in which they occurred?
2. Why is the order they happened important to the way they should be understood?
3. What would you need to do if you were going to attempt to teach these stories to others?
Take about five minutes right now and watch the video below. It is the first Story of God in the Bible. It is yours as a gift from us. To help you learn to tell this story better, we have prepared a written teaching resource that is available as a PDF Download. Let us know what you think of our plan in the box below.