Bringing the Encounter

She came to teach us about teaching.
“If,” she said, “we want to teach the church the Bible…the understanding is that we’ve had some kind of encounter with God ourselves.”
She looked around the room at each one of us as she said it, and I felt those words surprise me. We should bring those with us, she said—our encounters with God. Somehow, this opened the curtain to my heart and I felt the window thrown open wide.
Because I have. I have encountered the Living God in oh, so many ways. Is this how one teaches? Bring this living, breathing God to others?
She brought with her a gold bag covered in glitter. She invited us to sit in a circle around her on the floor as she withdrew her treasures from the bag and we participated in the wonder that is Godly Play. We entered into the story of the Good Shepherd and I felt the years peel back as we wondered aloud together and my heart felt like a spacious place.
We made a prayer with crayons and colored pencils and we watched a video on brain plasticity and read about different learning styles and multiple intelligences. We talked about memory and developmental stages and she shared a story about moving across the country to go to school and we did an Anne Wimberly story linking exercise on transitions.
We shared our stories, linking them together and around Mark 4:35-40, and it was power. Mary was moved to tears when she told our small group her story and I shared a memory I hadn’t allowed myself to think about for years. We acted the story out and I got to be Jesus (I had the longest hair).
And when I said, “Let us go over to the other side…” those words were the bravest I have ever spoken.
There was so much she brought to us. Because she brought her encounters with God.
And as our parting blessing was said, I couldn’t help noticing. There was a bit of gold glitter winking at me from the curve of her cheek.

This week’s memory verse:

 To download a copy of James 2:14-15 memory card.

Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.

For memory cards of the whole book of James visit this post.

 Blogging in community with Michelle and Jen today. Love you girls! 


  1. says

    Oh, Godly Play! My husband used to work at a therapeutic nursery where kids ages 6 weeks-6 years used that curriculum to help heal from their traumatic lives. It is amazing!

    P.S. It’s called Talitha Koum, in Waco, TX.

  2. says

    Laura, my teacher heart leapt at these words, “learning styles, brain plasticity and developmental stages.”
    These are not just important for teaching children, they’re important for teaching Grown Ups.
    Sounds like a great class time!

  3. says

    Using objects and activity in a learning environment is memorable. Jesus did not have modern technology He used what He had around Him and used people around Him to show His Words come to life. I love to learn this way. Love to teach this way…children especially love to learn with an activity. Thank you for making your learning experience so alive and so real. Bless you

  4. says

    So much wisdom from this teacher. You have tweaked our interest. Once I handed play-do to my students (in Bible class) and told them to show me the condition of their hearts. We learned a lot about each other and our God encounters. For some, we learned there was a great need for one.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. says

    How I love this! Teaching and being taught can be soooo much fun. My very favorite quote that I used when I taught college comp: “Billy Graham said that if you want to change someone’s life, tell a story.” Oh, yes, bring the stories of what He has done!

  6. says

    Beautiful. I don’t know how to teach except through my encounters with God, which is why I can never plan too far ahead with my class. This gives me some hope that maybe I haven’t been doing this all wrong!

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