being a learner-teacher

I’m stoked to announce the inaugural edition of The Catechist, a new online magazine produced by students at Moore Theological College. It’s all about some learners trying their hand at teaching. And attempting to make the (occasionally obscure) things they’re learning more widely accessible.

This issue centres on the theme of forgiveness, which is one of those places where the theological rubber hits the unyielding road of lived experience. There’s some terrific stuff in there — like Chew Chern’s feature, Dan’s reflection on being forgiven or Mark’s lively advocacy of the extra Calvinisticum.

On a personal note, some of the most precious times — and best learning experiences — at College happened in my Catechist (or Student Minister) roles:

  • With the young professionals and postgrads in the Graduate Bible Fellowship at Unichurch (UNSW)
  • With dear brothers and sisters at Christ Church Inner West in Ashfield, Haberfield and Five Dock
  • And in my attempts to figure out how to care spiritually for patients at Royal North Shore Hospital

I’m so grateful to God for those times. For the people I got to know and share some very special experiences with. And the different ways in which I kept being called to ground what I was doing at College in lived experience. To connect it with the ‘reality based community’ as a friend calls it.

One of the biggest challenges along these lines was trying to bridge the gap between the learning we’re immersed in at College and the call to teach people from a diverse array of backgrounds. I certainly often felt (and still feel) like I should have been given a giant ‘trainee’ badge or a big pair of ‘L’ plates as I bumbled and bunny-hopped my way through conversations. And I still cherish those moments — few and far between as they sometimes seemed — when I got to watch the light go on for someone as I tried to explain something about Jesus and living for him.

And that’s what The Catechist is all about. Present day learners — who may one day be teachers in our churches — learning (sometimes falteringly) to teach and communicate complex truths simply and accessibly. Check it out and see what you think!

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