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Student or Learner November 6, 2014

Posted by Gavin Porter in Additional Thoughts.
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Today we have the opportunity to help train 17 Congolese church leaders. They are attending a month long course on cross-cultural missions and we are helping them to understand the finer details of language and culture acquisition.

One of the main points in acquiring a new language is your approach. The best method is the same way you learned your mother tongue when you were a child. Not studying a language through books and audio, but rather acquiring the language, by being immersed in the culture. There is a big difference between a student and a learner. For example, a student studies from books, but the learner learns from the people. The student studies the rules of the language, while the learner learns to speak what he hears. Often a student studies to pass an exam, but the learner learns to communicate. It is the difference between an academic exercise and a social experience. Gathering knowledge or building relationships.

How many of us have approached life as students instead of learners, gathering information instead of experience. Trying to live according to the rules of life, we sometimes miss the experience of life. Think about the theologian who knows about God, but does not know God.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

We are called to follow Jesus. To be disciples. The correct translation of the word ‘disciple’ from the original language is ‘learner’. We are to be learners, spending time with Him, learning from Him, but Jesus also commanded us to make disciples. As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus sent us. People must be able to learn from us. Not just by what we say, but by our whole lives. How often do we see congregations full of students instead of disciples.

“Lord, I want to be a tree of life, not a tree of knowledge!”

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