Knowledge or Change?
The founder of the Vineyard movement I presently find myself in, John Wimber, once said that the role of the pastor was to help people move from one spiritual stage to the next, to help them grow in maturity. Although I might not agree with Wimber's idea of growth and maturity, I think it is valuable to recognize the most important point: I am teaching a diverse group of people at various stages of faith with vastly differing and even contradictory beliefs. One thing is for sure: they do not believe what I believe (a disclaimer: I must be honest: I don't post nearly a fraction of what concerns me. If I did I would be in even more trouble!) So, when I teach, I do not try to convince people to believe what I believe. In fact, knowing something or believing something is not the primary issue. I am not concerned with it. I am most concerned with transformation, for change, for the liberation of the human being from suffering and bondage. This is not accomplished by thought. So, again, when I teach I put very little effort into educating people on different theologies or beliefs or whatever. Rather, what I attempt to do is teach in such a way that each person can take what is said and apply it immediately to their own lives... where they are at. I hope that what I say will be food for everyone present to provoke change, to liberate them from whatever is binding them. I wonder if this is why Jesus apparently didn't speak so much in propositional terms, but with stories. He wasn't into educating people on the intricacies of scripture or the law. He was more concerned with how can someone be born again (not in the evangelical or fundamentalist way), but how can someone start all over again, a new creation? He was also gifted at the art of putting the question. He was frustrating to those who wanted to preserve and promote the religious system, but a breath of fresh air to those who were excluded from this same system. I'm often accused of not teaching enough. The brain loves the accumulation of facts because it postpones the necessity for change, and in fact tricks the brain into thinking more thought means change. I'm also often accused of not being a more assertive leader and teacher, that I need to leave my questions at home, and preferably settle them and feed the people with the answers that they are looking for. I get this a lot. But I'm not interested. I've experienced it in my own life and witnessed for so many years of teaching: more knowledge does nothing. In fact, it is a detriment. Now I am concerned with what I've said before: creative change. And it is urgent! This is a small watercolor of mine, SOLD. twitter me Check out my t-shirts HERE. I'm growing my inventory all the time. And check out my contemplative art here.