How do we provide training aimed at achieving the deep and lasting transformation of individuals, churches and communities?
We first need to overturn the conventional wisdom that giving information alone will lead to transformation. Experience of over one hundred years of church training programs shows that information-driven training leads to a church and its leaders with shallow roots.
Taking these few ideas of Learning will cause us to design our training very differently.
- Learning is for change
- Learning is local
- Learning is change
- Learning is action and reflection
- Learning is communal
Learning is for change
The goal of training is to equip individuals to be able bring biblical solutions to community problems. Therefore, we need begin by understanding community problems and then developing training that is targeted toward a better future.
Learning is local
Those who live in the communities needing solutions best understand the context and the situation. Therefore let’s equip local leaders so that they can develop and implement training that is appropriate for their community.
Learning is change
We see the person being trained as a potential agent-of-change who will be able bring to change in the situation plaguing their community. While in training their perspective is changed and opportunity is given to develop new attitudes and competences so that they can be sure to bring change in their community.
Learning is action and reflection
Learning follows a rhythm. We call it Acting, Reflecting, and Acting—ARA. We don’t begin by giving people information. We expose them to the situation (that’s Acting) and let that be a starting point for a process of Reflecting on the situation and bring into that reflection biblical truth. This is followed by learning activities (more Acting) that enable the development of new skills. This cycle of ARA runs continuously throughout the training process and eventually leads to a person who has the competence necessary to bring change to the community situation.
Learning is communal
The power of ARA learning is greatly enhanced as local people train together. It provides opportunities for learners to gain insights from each other and also to cooperate with each other in implementing change activities together.