This cluster of questions focuses on ways to engage biblical texts and various biblical metaphors and narratives in learning.

One of the key elements of supporting learning community in Christian contexts is helping people attend to the stories of God’s relationship with human beings, and God’s action in wider Creation. One of the most important sources of those stories is the Bible. Sometimes this learning goal gets reduced to simplistic slogans like “increase biblical literacy.” But I think what we’re actually aiming for is something much richer and more nourishing than mere literacy. I think what we want, what religious educators work towards, is a way of being in relationship with the Bible that involves integrating not only concrete stories from that sacred text into our lives, but also allowing deeper questions and challenges that emerge from the text to question us.

The goal of this cluster is to work on how to draw on biblical texts to shape learning goals, and how to allow learning goals to be shaped by biblical texts. You can go at this task in a variety of ways, but try to answer at least the following questions about the text or exercise that is the focus for the week.

  1. Start with how, if at all, the Bible is present in the week’s focus situation. What kinds of biblical texts, what biblical metaphors, what stories and characters, are present?
  2. Then think about how you might draw learners more deeply into biblical texts on the basis of this focus. If you think it might be useful to do some Bible study in relation to the text or exercise, which of the four methods of biblical study that Jacobson, et. al. outline might be useful?
  3. What does your small group think is the most important learning goal an educational leader would focus on in relation to the Bible around this week’s situation?
  4. Finally, compose a summary of your deliberation and post it to the course blog for this week’s focus.
  5. For extra credit, if you like, search out a few additional resources that offer useful materials that relate in some way to the biblical learning challenge(s) you identified. You can find such materials in the assigned books for this class. You can look for additional resources online. You can ask your trusted colleagues and church mentors for ideas. You can go to a resource center for ideas. The point is to find and share with your colleagues additional resources that would assist in leading learning around this focus situation.

Possible useful sites for finding resources include: lectio divina / the St. John’s bible / the ATLA image databank / FeAutor / / great children’s books at your local library, Enter the Bible, and Into the New Testament