One thing I’ve found in my years of working in a counseling/social work field is that curriculum doesn’t save people from themselves. Today there are great theories and disciplines that have inspired great change, yet you can’t just sit someone in front of a book so they can walk away at the end cured of their afflictions.
In my experience it’s the people who in the end make the difference. It’s the people who walk alongside the person, showing the patience of a turtle, who help them through the thing that seems to be crippling them.
This seems to be God’s game plan. Though you could argue the Bible is enough, that it’s the perfect curriculum, I’d say that God has put his cards on the table and that those cards are us.
Which seemingly is a terrible choice. The results have been mixed at best.
By Jesus ascending and leaving his church in charge God was taking a risk. Because certainly people can get it wrong. And certainly Christians have done that – hard. Yet the church, a fairly unorganized and difficult to define group of people now found in every country of the world, is God’s chosen way to transform the world.
The truth is that this great experiment hasn’t proven to be the best 100% of the time. I need not name examples. There are people that have damaged others so much that it’d take the Seattle Mariners winning the World Series for them to believe God is not only real, but has had unconditional love for them every step of the way. The failures have been many and public. Yet God entrusted the world into the care of not a book, but a body of people anyway. It’s a foolish yet brillant plan.
We could wander around for days in this topic – of how God chose flawed humans as the means of the message, of how God chose people and not methods or books, of how enacted a plan guaranteed to make mistakes quickly and often, and of how God believes in us enough to go through with it.
We’ve got loads of relevant sermon series’, small group curriculum and engaging videos – but the missing link, the thing that bring its all together, is the people. Apparently we do the job better than a carefully crafted teaching. Even with corn stuck in our teeth.