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It Takes Both Parts

Some courses emphasize information (data, facts, details). The student learns about a topic.

Some courses emphasize skills (processes, methods, procedures). The student learns how to do something or to do it better or faster or more accurately.

Both types of training are important. Acquiring one without the other leaves people limited in their capacity to operate successfully in a particular area of life.

For example, we have known people who were committed in their Christian faith and understood the offer of salvation fully. They were ready with full explanation and supportive Scripture, but they lacked basic human relations skills. Information without skill does not work. Jesus was never boorish.

Yet the skillful delivery of appealing heresy by an engaging enthusiast is even worse. The wrong information is not helpful no matter how well styled its delivery. Jesus never hurt people.

CBA courses include both but most courses are more about skills than about information; they build on the information people already have. Supportive data and Scripture show clearly along the way because it is essential to us to base everything we teach on bedrock solid Christian truth. The mission of CBA is to equip believers to boldly act on that truth.

Few church members act upon what they are taught. This is what we observe: “Teach me again and again about Jesus and how good it is to call ourselves his followers but don’t ask me to move out of my comfort zone. I will follow him right here where I am sitting, thank you.”

“I’ll sing ‘Stand Up for Jesus’ but I can’t stand up for him at the shop. I’ll sing ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’ but the fact is, I’d rather watch TV. I’ll sing ‘I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go’ but don’t ask me to visit the nursing home. Pass the offering plate for missions and I’ll put in a five, maybe even a ten (!) so someone can go to Africa.

Information changes attitudes only when it is used. That’s why repetition of content only doesn’t get the job done.

In our courses participants use skills in new ways (or for the first time). They get mild joy as they succeed during a training session. This emboldens them to try something new “out there in real life” before the next session. During those experiments in new behavior they get a jolt of joy that transforms them from spectator to active contributor to kingdom work.

Information and skills are like the two sides of a pair of pliers. Try tightening the garden hose to the spigot with a plier. Better get a pair, and if you want to help change your part of the world, you better have skills that help you use information. That’s wisdom. It honors Gods and allows his transformative power to flow.

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