Last night we had the best men’s class that I can remember. I don’t know if it is a coincidence but it was also the men’s class that I did the least talking! Maybe I can learn something from that. We had Tom Hagan from Mt. Dora Christian Home and Bible School stop by and encourage us as well as inform us about what is going on at Mt. Dora. We also had been discussing Romans 16 the previous week and how Paul was giving honor and encouragement to people in the church. It is such a different kind of chapter to teach because on first glance it seems to just be a list of names. So we put it into practice, live. We went around the room and offered encouraging words of honor and praise to the different men in the class. After an hour we had only covered half the men in the class so we will continue this next week too.
There were a couple of unexpected lessons that came out of this experience. We learned things about people from what others said about them that we would have never known otherwise. It was also mentioned that it raised awareness that we don’t know everyone in our class and that made them want to get to know each other even better. Even if you weren’t the one receiving praise and encouragement, it really made you feel good to be there and hear all those kind words.
It was a great change of pace because we did more than discuss a text or share thoughts and opinions on a particular subject or verse. Something happened. Something happened in that room that has never happened before in our class. I can’t quite put my finger on it but the best I can sum it up is that application was lived out. It wasn’t talked about. We didn’t have a bunch of “How does this verse change your life this week?” type questions. Application actually happened right before our eyes. I can tell you that I want some more of that!
Wouldn’t it be something if we actually encouraged each other more than just read verses that tell us that is what we are supposed to be doing?