The missionary life is an adventure! We try new foods, explore new places, and engage with cultures very different from our own. Of course, that’s that part that we prepared ourselves for before we landed in our host country. It’s only when we hit the ground that we promptly found out that the tasks we take for granted: shopping, medical care, maintaining a vehicle, and even simply getting permission to stay where we are, are part of the daily adventure that is being a missionary.
But now you’ve been asked to teach a class in the Bible institute. You’ve got a course name and a book, and you’re supposed to plan a 32 hour course for 20 students. In our adventure-saturated lives, it may be enough additional stress to have you looking for a life-vest, ready to scramble overboard, or at least hide your face from the Bible school director for awhile. Well, before you decide to punch your return ticket, or don that mustache and glasses disguise, take a deep breath. There’s help.
A Travelbag of Resources for Course Planning Success:
I’m an organizer, I like to plan. I’m ready for an adventure, but I need to see the map to know how I’ll be able to arrive. For the Spanish-speaking missionary educator, that map is the Plan Basico. The Plan Basico is a set of standards created and adopted by a consensus of the leadership of the Assmblies of God Fellowship throughout Latin America. As such, it informs and guides the process of ministerial formation among our Bible schools. In it, you can find course descriptions, objectives, basic themes, suggested methods and criteria for evaluation for each course offered. It serves as a thumbnail sketch of what that class that you’ve been asked to teach should be all about. Go and download yourself a copy in PDF format.
Of course, sometimes a map is not enough. If you’re like me, you want more detail, you want to know how that journey might look; you want to know which stops you might make along the way. That’s, of course, what made AAA triptiks so popular in the past, and why so many today navigate the roads tuned to the digital voice of their GPS. For the LA/C educator, elasesor.org can fill this gap. This website, the information hub of the Resource and Advisory Center (Centro de Recursos y Asesoría), provides syllabi for a number of Bible school courses, many with detailed hour by hour course plans, providing suggestions for the route you may take. Take a look at the database and find out what’s available. While you’re there, take a look at their annotated bibliography resource as well.
Still, there’s no better resource than someone who has been there before. We long for a guide that can help us avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the journey. “If I could just have someone talk me though it,” we think, “then I’d be able to fit the pieces together.” We’ll, now you can! Among the LA/C missionary body, there is a wealth of teaching experience at various levels of ministerial training. A growing list of these educators are participating in our ACLAME Facebook group. There you can post a question and get a real response about that course that you’ve been called upon to teach. Participate in the forum, and get the guidance that you’ve been looking for.
So are you ready for that new teaching adventure? Hopefully, with the tools mentioned here, you’re feeling a bit more prepared to say “yes” to that opportunity to pour your life into the future leadership of the Assemblies of God in Latin America and the Carribean.
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By David Godzwa