Saturday, November 14, 2009

What about the active learners?

There was a book I read a few years back called "why men hate church." There were some good points in the book and some that were so-so. The parts I got the most out of could have been called why active learners hate church..

I see this being a segment of the population that is missing/under represented in the American church. Church in general does a great job of reaching people who learn by reading, and instruction. Maybe 10-25% of the population are these active learners. Many have tried the church and left they have ethier dismissed God or joined para church organizations.

The quesion is what can we do to reach people like this?

These are generalizations.Active learners consist of men, woman, young, old, business owners, philanthropists, mill workers, inventors etc, etc.

Message-
The message of Jesus is something that resinates with active learners.
The way He lived His life is something to literaly be emulated.
If the message is diminished/dumbed down or made easy it does not appeal to this group.
This group wants a message that they can live and die for.
This group will smuggle bibles into communist countries, move into trailer parks, would even falsely be imprisioned if it would help others find Christ.
Bottom line they want to be challenged in such a way that will change the world.
Challenge them to live on 10% and give 90% of their money away.
Many of these people are rich business people who are looking for a worthy cause to give their money too. (no a building project is not a worthy cause).
Unleash them on a city/community/country/world and watch what they can do.
Impossible projects energize them.
They will think creatively outside the box.
Current idea: How do we create a situation where we can get all the prostitutes off of the streets of Gary for one night? (You can tell if you are an active learner if this idea scares you or if you think how could this happen).

Learning-
This group learns different than the rest of our classmates in school.
This group learns by doing as oppossed to listening, and books.
They learn by doing
Their hands and our hearts may change before our head knowledge changes.

Great attributes: (generalizations)
Faith- this group is going to live by faith.
Fear- Fear is going to play very little in the decision making process.
Self-motivated- This group does not need much if any motivation outside of themselves.
Energy- This group has energy it is either going to be used for God or self.
Passion- This group is filled with passion and lives it out.
Spontanious- On a moments motice an individual would drop everything for people in need(i.e. hurricanes, natural disaster) etc.

Weakness:
many times they speak with passion and not logic- Active learners will say dumb things but the motivation is passion.
No patience- active leaners will have very little patience with others who don't see the world the way they do.
Disdain for those who don't live like this-
Meetings are not viewed with hope.- Most active learners are not going to enjoy meetings.
Messy- There may be colleteral damage with any activity they do.
Jump before thinking- Does not need all the details before jumping in.
Realities:
1. These type of people are much tougher to control than the average church person.
2. They generally scare the 75% of the population who govern American Churches.
3. In general,churches try to change these people to be like the rest of the church.
4. There are always going to be balance issues between the active learners and the rest of the church.
5. It may be because of the churches lack to imbrace these types of people- 20somethings and men's ministry struggle in most churches.
6. This group is going to be the front line soldiers and they are going to much more comfortable outside the church than inside. But they will share there faith wherever they go.
7. These type of people are may notto be great"vounteers" in church ministries. It doesn't have enough risk/reward for most of this group.
8. They would be willing to take a bullet for Jesus but yet may quit when the rest of church critizes and tries to make them tame.
9. These people are not going to mature into "normal" church people this is the way God has created these people. Of course there are rough edges that God will smooth out, but at the core this is the way God created them.
10. They will leave quickly when they see that they are not needed,wanted, or the vision of the church is too small.

Bottom line there needs to be balance between these type of people and the 75% of the population who endwells the current church.

Active learners form the Bible would include-
Peter- He was so willing to act and think afterwards
Paul- He was so willing to go wherever without worrying about the consequences.
Noah- willing to build an ark even when it didn't make logical sense.

This group of people needs to be an important part of the church body, the normal church has to realize they are not going to be like them and the active learners have to learn that they can't leave or do this on their own.