TGR-S2E1: Re-Purposing Education

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For this cycle of The Great Reset with the Biastes, I hope to explore Ted’s call to scale entrepreneurial/spiritual training to meet the immense need, especially among the unemployed and marginalized. Starting on Friday, May 22nd by resetting our understanding of education…

  • Question: What is the purpose of education?
  • Perspective
    • In Theory: Preparing students to flourish in the world they will inherit
    • In Practice: Promoting (and measuring compliance with) social norms
    • These are not the same, but they did overlap
  • Challenge
    • This worked well enough to create and sustain our society
    • This did not necessarily work well for (all) individuals
    • What if we want students to inherit a Kingdom that conflicts with existing norms?
  • Hypothesis: Requires Transformational Encounters
    • Creating novel Experiences |Values |Capabilities
    • That are sustained/disrupted by Transforming Communities
    • Continually and transparently pointing beyond themselves
  • Alternate Values
    • Incarnation vs Extraction
    • Hustle vs Compliance
    • Entrepreneurship vs Certification
    • Fixing Ourselves vs Blaming Students
    • Heroes vs Soldiers
    • Emotional Labor vs Professional Technique
  • Opportunity
    • Can we together create and live a social norm of radical allegiance to God’s Kingdom, even at the expense of our own?

Verses

Transformation

The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully on you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person.

1 Samuel 10:6

Compliance vs Agency

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Spiritual Warfare

“No one can break into a strong man’s house and take away his belongings unless he first ties up the strong man; then he can plunder his house.” 

Matthew 12:29

Role Models

And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father,’ because you have only the one Father in heaven.

Matthew 23:9

2 thoughts on “TGR-S2E1: Re-Purposing Education

  1. Notes by Steven
    Intro…is what we are doing really getting us to where we want to go. Last week Ted shared his work in Argentina. How do we scale up … the transformation of souls … as the US tries to revitalize the economy. Ted suggests we focus on the marginalized who are economically downtrodden.

    Ernie asks if what he is doing is worth it. So, he developed this line of thinking in response to conversations with me (Steve) and Ted and David Huffman.
    Bill asks for a greater clarification of “education” as a definition.

    Ideas of education
    If you can memorize, you’re good at school and succeed and therefore are perceived as a success.
    Bill asks why is education factored out of the life model…different than “street smarts” … go to seminary to learn about theology, but why doesn’t that happen in church?
    Ted replies seminary teaches one how to preach
    Ted comments about a recent report on the broken nature of higher education from the economic viewpoint

    Ernie is wrestling with …
    Bill’s point about incarnation, as true
    We tried the apprenticeship model in education, which worked for a while, but then became a limiting factor over history
    Addressed the German model of two tracks by a test to higher ed or vocational training
    We are a product of the systems in which we are taught in, raised in, and ones we believe are better
    What if the “system” of life and learning were the Kingdom of God?
    Lettuce quote and reference to SNL ZOOM Black Church skit
    Church sermons are about 90% tribal identity and only 10% about how to live a better life
    Bill … “don’t follow ME, follow God” that’s what John the Baptist said
    Ted suggests we are simply used to doing what we do and fear the transformation impact on ourselves
    Bill references the tribal nature of Jewish culture that Jesus lived in … think of Apostle Paul … born into that culture and hunted Jesus Followers
    Ted says universities will need to work three times as hard … to … make the voluntary educational change and walk away from the old model
    Apple is hiring high school grads … an indoctrination of Apple philosophy

    To live in the Kingdom of God we must be transformed into a different person. 2 Cor New Covenant to die to oneself

    What in the world will I say to all of this?
    Transparency … in discipleship … Paul models it, Jesus was it, and for me, Ron Ritchie and Rich Carlson at PBC Palo Alto in the early 90s.
    They worked to help shape men with the blessing of teh HS and power of God to help transform me into disciples of Jesus through transparent living

    Bill suggests teams are critical to learning and performing…how did the team perform, not just how did YOU perform …

    This comment medium in WordPress really is inadequate for formatting ;-\

  2. Sunday Morning Reflection…

    Brothers, my heart is working on some ideas. Since we gathered together on Friday to discuss how we might impact the world for Jesus Christ … in education, specially, but our purposes go further than that one social institution. I was inspired this morning by reading Acts 2:42-47 about the foundations of behaviors and attitudes of the first Christian Believers. A model often touted as worthy to follow today, but difficult to do.

    I was moved to write this message this morning and by God’s grace did it one hour. I’m surprised. I don’t write that to impress you with my ability to write, rather to express my surprise at how God moves me so rapidly through ideas I have been learning about Him for more than 30 years.

    For your consideration, I wrote this message to you, as you have inspired me and shared your lives with me so that I might grow in my relationship with the Lord.

    ====
    How might a group of Christian men and women impact the world?

    Read how the early church of Believers changed the world in Acts 2:42-47.

    “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
    ‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭2:42-47‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/116/act.2.42-47.nlt

    What did the early church, the infant church, of Followers of the Way of Jesus Christ do to establish the foundations of community?

    They devoted tthemselves to learning from the Apostles. Today we learn from pastors, teachers, and ultimately follow the teaching of the Holy Bible, not a person. (v42)

    They devoted themselves to the fellowship with other believers and those coming to an understanding of faith in Jesus Christ. They met with intention to learn and encourage one another. (v42)

    They shared meals together, daily, and had communion with one another, creating a focus on Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and eternal presence. They ate regularly together and considered it like manna, coming back for more the next day. (v42)

    The disciples together in fellowship devoted themselves to prayer. Talking with God is critical for the relationship with Jesus to grow and mature. Let’s admit we are in a constant maturing process in our relationship with God and therefore, just another beggar on the side of the road to Heaven with all the others.

    What was the tone and attitude of the Believers in the early church community?

    The early church believers experienced a sense of awe by what they were learning, doing, and living by the result of their fellowship with one another and the work of the Apostles.

    The Apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders. What are the miraculous signs and wonders we can experience in the Church today? May it be the simple, a financial gift to restore hope to a brother? Would it be the sudden healing of a sister that restored her ability to get up and walk? Would it be, at the most basic of human experiences, the birth of a baby? Yes.

    What did their intentional actions within their fellowship look like?
    The Christ Followers in the early church of the first century…

    1. Met together in one place, like we do today in our church buildings, gathering places, and worship centers, and video live streams to celebrate the risen Lord.
    2. Shared everything they had in common with others so no one felt the burden of need greater than what another could provide. That act alone raised up the lowly, the poor, to a level of satisfaction so that they could eat, live, and enjoy a good well-being. It seems to say that those who had something to give were able to do so without causing unbearable burden for themselves.
    3. Sold their property and possessions
    4. Shared everything they had
    5. Worshipped together at their place of worship, the Temple, daily
    6. Met in homes to celebrate the Lord’s Supper (communion), a repeated event from earlier in the passage
    7. Shared meals, while meeting in homes, with an attitude of joy and generous giving. Giving generously and wholeheartedly is referenced twice in this passage.

    What is a common thread through all their activity?
    The Christ Followers in the first century church did these activities with intention, a sense of purpose, and praised God while doing them. As a result, they commonly enjoyed the goodwill of all the people. Common goodwill. An “other” person centered viewpoint. Each doing good for the other’s will and well-being and thereby receiving the same self-less response from those around them. Therein lies a bit of common wisdom, choose your companions in fellowship wisely and surround yourself with those who also believe in the self-less focus of service in Jesus Christ.

    The activities all focus on building up a human community. Not one of those activities described in this passage involves real estate, fund-raising drives, or community outreach campaigns, as is common among churches after that time. The activities and outcomes described by Luke of the first century church show us the focus was on building up the foundations of the social-emotional and physical well-being of the people in the community.

    The Apostles and Believers did not build up the community of businesses, banks, and commerce in the region, although that is a likely outcome. They didn’t devote themselves to thinking about how to solve societal problems, to correcting badly run organizations, or just to talking about the possibilities of what men might do. No. They did the daily work without regard for changing the world. It worked.

    These are worthwhile endeavors and activities for individuals who believe in God to do. These actions further the Kindgom of God on this earth, but is not the focus. I believe, the first century Believers and primarily, the Aposteles, considered themselves with humility and equal with everyone else, devoted to using the gifts God had given them for sharing among all.

    The passage doesn’t specifically say they walked door to door evangelizing people, although they might have done it. I think their evangelizing was a natural expression of their gathering in community for fellowship to meet and share the burdens of daily living. Daily living that was made better by food and social interaction around the intentional purpose of praising God.

    What is God’s response to the worship and fellowship of His people?
    Each day, every day, no days of rest in the week from salvation, the Lord Almighty, our Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ called more and more people into salvation from their sin, that is called into a life on earth that was free from the shackles of sin. Called into a life that could enjoy freedom from the overwhelming despair of wants and ego-centric lifestyles that cloud our understanding of God’s purposes. The first people who were saved, came into the community of Believers daily. That was then, today that’s us!

    Think about the early church and what God was calling them to do. The call went out after Jesus’s death and resurrection (at Pentecost, specifically) through the generations of human existence to our ears and hearts today. Like the community of Believers in the infant Church, we are invited into our eternal family with God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Brothers, Sisters, Friends, what might we be doing to echo the call?
    What is our Lord doing around us that He is inviting us into today?
    What can you imagine about the response of people to hearing us echo the Fellowship of the first Believers?
    Can you imagine how God might respond to those who worship and praise Him daily in fellowship with one another for the service of one another in the name of Jesus?

    Let’s be intentional with our hopes, ambitions, dreams, and prayers to God for the salvation of His people in Jesus’ name.

    Respectfully before the Lord, Steve

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