|My first day on the job at the Roswell Seating Com-pany (our family’s church furniture business in Georgia), I was assigned to the paint room. The men on the crew barely acknowledged my presence, and they went about their work without even so much as pointing at something for me to do. After a few minutes of standing around I felt rather foolish and I began copying their movements. |
By the end of the day I knew we had stained and lacquered a set of pews and some pulpit furniture to a glassy shine, but I still had no idea what my efforts had done. Over the next few days, however, the crew began giving me a little information and some pointers now and then. “This stuff makes the fibers stand up for sanding,” “Wipe the stain like this,” “Lift with the pads of your fingers,” were a few of the helpful hints I got from my mostly taciturn workers.
Within a couple of weeks I could stain, sand, and tote with the best of them. I never became a craftsman, but I certainly knew my way around most of the work in the paint room.
Sometimes I wonder if many people feel about the Christian life the same way I felt in the paint room that first day. They hear preachers like me challenging them to live as Christ’s disciples but nobody ever tells them how. They are expected to know what
|to do, but so often they do not have a clue, or, at best, they feel inadequate.|
But the way I eventually learned how to do the work in the paint is the best pedagogical method. While practicing the tasks, instruction is offered which enhances and clarifies what is being done. And, after a while, one develops the necessary skills.
This is the model behind an ongoing program we are launching this fall called Faith Walk: The Journey from Membership to Discipleship. The plan is to give you the skills for the Christian life in three different areas:
• FirstSteps – What’s it all about? This module will explore the basics of Christian faith from an open-minded, adult perspective.
• DiscipleWay – A Christian’s toolkit. This module will examine in depth the six marks of discipleship: prayer, worship, Bible study, service, relating to others, and giving.
• LifeKeys – Discover Who You Are. Many of you have already taken this module, but it will continue to be offered so that each of us can find the places of service that feed our souls.
You will be hearing more about FaithWalk in the weeks to come, but begin praying now about your involvement. You will learn intellectually and experientially and discover more about living the faith than you thought possible. You may never become a craftsman, but you certainly will know your way around the Christian life.