SALT Concepts and Comments
Strategic Alliance for Leadership Training Newsletter April 2003
Training leaders to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2
SALT is based on a conceptual rather than a purely cognitive philosophy of teaching. To teach conceptually is to implant biblical truth rather than merely transplant biblical knowledge.
The difference between planting and transplanting is germination. Transplanting does not involve germination. It consists of introducing into the soil a plant produced from a seed that has already germinated and developed in soil which is different from the soil into which it is placed. To grow, its roots must successfully penetrate the soil, which remains basically passive.
Successful planting involves germination, germination which occurs in the soil into which the seed is introduced, not in foreign soil. Success in germination is related not only to the seed penetrating the soil, but the soil penetrating the seed, for the soil plays an active role in the separation of the germ from its protective covering. In germination the seed must not only penetrate the soil; the soil must also penetrate the seed.
Transplanting and planting illustrate two philosophies of teaching:
Teaching that is purely cognitive (instructional) risks merely transplanting information that does not necessarily germinate in the experience of the learner.
The purpose of cognitive teaching is the acquisition of knowledge (the accumulation of information.)
Knowledge-based education is passive—must memorize.
The objective of the teacher is to instruct; the focus is on content.
Cognitive instruction can result in conformity.
Western education is focused on the acquisition of knowledge. As universities spread throughout medieval Europe, education shifted progressively from the trainer to the institution, diminishing the influence of the trainer as the model. The effectiveness of teaching was measured by knowledge rather than character or skill, creating a dichotomy between instruction and experience, resulting in the autonomy of knowledge. This dichotomy has been perpetuated in most academic institutions. Unfortunately most institutions for Bible and theological training have followed the model of academic institutions. Knowledge about God too often replaces knowledge of God. Knowledge becomes the basis of faith and the criteria for preparation for the ministry.
Training that is conceptual (incarnational) implants seed truths that must germinate in the experience of the learner.
The purpose of the training is the acquisition of wisdom, (the application of information.)
Wisdom-based education is active—must reflect and respond.
The objective of the teacher is to equip; the focus is on the student.
Conceptual instruction seeks conviction.
Biblical education is based on implantation, by which germination produces obedience (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Great Commission does not tell us to teach all that Jesus taught, but to teach disciples to obey all that He taught. The purpose of training is not knowledge, but obedience. We cannot obey without knowing, but we can know without obeying. Autonomous knowledge puffs up (1 Corinthians 8:1-3). In the Scriptures, the word didasko, to teach, implies more than the communication of knowledge. In both the Old and New Testaments teaching implies instruction in how to live. In the gospels it conveys not the idea of developing a person's intellect, but instruction in life principles. Rather than focusing on the theoretical it was concerned with concrete situations. There is a link between training and doing.
(Next month: converting content into concepts)
From Kent Good: “For what it’s worth, I was recently encouraged to do a word study on the New Testament concepts of didaché, didasko, didaskalia (variously translated:
doctrine, teaching, instruction, precept, etc). I was quite amazed to realize that what Paul meant by sound doctrine in the vast majority of cases made reference to the Gospel and its ethical implications rather than what has historically become associated with the term doctine a defense of Christian teaching against a host of heresies which have arisen throughout the centuries. If I’m not mistaken, sound doctrine implied teaching how to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. In this light, I have changed my vocabulary to distinguish between dogma and doctrine. This obviously is right in line with what you are hoping to see developed through the SALT initiative. Perhaps it needs to have a greater influence on the choice of concepts to be shared.”
From Bruce Triplehorn: “I am very pleased with the SALT training. I am so glad that I have been biding my time and waiting to start SALT until now because I think what I
have prepared has hit the nail on the head. I think the test has come from the Nova Uniao church. The material has been simple enough for five church leaders (none have a
high school education), but challenging for the pastor who graduated from our seminary (and studied Greek with me). The aspect that most excites me is that more is happening outside of class than inside the class. The exercises have made people to be more in tune with God. They say that the results are spilling into the whole church. This is after only the first four concepts.”
From Dave Guiles comes additional information about Mexico Border SALT Phase One : “On February 30, 2003, Steve Bailey and Jesus Munoz accompanied me to San
Luis, Mexico, to launch the first module. Our host pastor was Arnulfo Vieyra. The location was his church building in the small town of Islita. Although the number of students fluctuated during the week, the average attendance was about 25. There were six or seven pastors present, so the majority of people were laymen. During two sessions I presented the philosophy of SALT, focusing on the Four Laws of Conceptual Training and the Organic Process for preparing teaching sessions. Steve and Jesus team-taught the Overview of Theology course. Overall, I would say that the teaching was very well received. Students are to complete their assignments and mail them for review at the IMC.”
Kent and Becky Good, missionaries to France since 1979, are making plans to move to Cambodia at the beginning of next year for an extended assignment of leadership training in the church-planting movement in that country. For several years Kent has focused on leadership training in France, while Becky has focused on training leaders of children’s Bible clubs.
Continual prayer is needed for the leaders of the churches of the Central African Republic. A recent letter from Dr. Francois Ngoumape underlines their desperate need to implant a biblical culture and not merely transplant biblical knowledge: “I was able after three months to go back to Bata for two days in order to see the damage that we have in our home and school. Praise the Lord the trip was safe, but my house is like a garbage dump. Everything is torn down and thrown everywhere. Our kitchen is empty, our clothes taken away, as well as the three bicycles of the kids, household goods, beds, etc…We have been struggling to think and understand why did it happen. The main question in my sight is how to be more efficient if the people who heard the gospel are not rooted. This is our new challenge in the ministry. Many of the looters are young people. We have to think deeply on a new way to approach ministry among youth.”
(Facilitators are invited to share information for intercession. Send news to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are invited to forward this newsletter to others. Back issues will be sent on request.)
April 19, 2003
Summer 2005 Inside Out or Outside In
Spring 2005 Creating a Leadership Development Culture
Winter 2005 Leadership Training Clinic
Autumn 2004 Church Based Leadership Training
Spring 2004 Making Truth Personal
Jan- Mar 2004 Holistic Training
Nov-Dec 2003 4th Law-Law of the Harvest
Oct 2003 3rd Law-Law of the Sower
Sept 2003 2nd Law-Law of the Soil
Aug 2003 1st Law-Law of the Seed
July 2003 Teaching or Training
June 2003 Converting Content to Concepts
April 2003 Concept: Implanting vs. Transplanting
March 2003 Training Leaders to Teach Others
January 2003 What is SALT?