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Why No One Learns Much of Anything in Church and How to Fix It: 10th Anniversary Edition [Paperback]

By Thom Schultz (Author)
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Item Number 52293  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.54" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 4, 2009
ISBN  0764426974  
EAN  9780764426971  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This hard-hitting, provocative evaluation of learning in the church only gets better over time. Need ideas for improving how your church educates? Practical solutions and loads of help abound! Here's a fascinating tour of Christian and cutting-edge secular education models to help any church reinvent its approach to learning. Develop an innovative approach to learning that Jesus perfected-totally involving people through active a learning environment where lives are changed!

Buy Why No One Learns Much of Anything in Church and How to Fix It: 10th Anniversary Edition by Thom Schultz from our Church Supplies store - isbn: 9780764426971 & 0764426974

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More About Thom Schultz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thom & Joani Schultz have spent their entire adult lives serving the church and challenging the status quo. Thom is the founder and CEO of Group Publishing, a creator of innovative ministry resources for children, youth, and adults. Joani is Group's chief creative officer. Together they oversee Group Cares, a nonprofit organization that's helped nearly 400,000 people serve others around the world. They've also written several best-selling books for church leaders, including "Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Helpful insights but contains overstatements, some Scripture out of contexts  Feb 8, 2010
In Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church And How To Fix It, Thom and Joani Schultz set forth an unconventional model for teaching and preaching in the church. Their purpose in writing is clearly stated in their title. They address the underlying problems they believe are at the root of poor Sunday School attendance, the lack of Bible knowledge among church goers, and the aversion youth and children have to Sunday School. The format of the book is that of a manual (a how to or fix it book) to help a church implement their ideas rather than a text book, which is in line with their title. To emphasize the problems of busy work, the Schultz's present examples that are humorous illustrations of how not to communicate biblical truth by comparing them to everyday situations. For example, "Imagine, if we tried to teach someone to use the computer with the methodology we use in the church. Listen to a lecture on computers, try to unscramble the word megabyte, look at the manual, memorize it - then go turn on the machine. Nobody learns the computer that way." Their point of not taking up valuable teaching time with busy work is well taken.
The book consists of ten chapters which present the authors ten steps for renovating and rejuvenating Christian education in the church. The chapter titles reflect the positive solution and each chapter begins with an underlying problem, then prescribes the necessary steps a church needs to take in order to fix the problem, and concludes with a Do It section that offers practical suggestions for implementing the steps discussed in the chapter.
In chapter one, Know the Goal, the focus is on helping a church understand and verbalize the purpose or goal of their education program. Chapter two, Focus on Learning Rather Than Teaching, helps a church evaluate what the children and adults are actually learning in their Sunday school classes. The section of the Hidden Curriculum is something that all teachers need to be aware of. Chapter three, Concentrate on the Essentials, enlightens teachers on how to make sure that they are majoring on the essentials in each lesson and that the children grasp the main point. Chapter four, Emphasize Understanding over Rote Memorization focuses on moving the students from merely parroting verses to understanding them. Chapter five, Make People Think, encourages teachers to move beyond simple yes/no questions and to not rely on busy work projects (fill in the blanks, crossword puzzles, etc), but to shift to questions and projects that will force the students to think. Chapter six, Use Active Learning, and chapter seven, Use Interactive Learning build on the principle of moving from passive instruction to active learning. " learning revolves around an experience. Interactive learning occurs when students discuss and work cooperatively in pairs or small groups." Chapter eight, Use A Curriculum that Produces Authentic Learning, presents a general sampling of Sunday School curricula that reflect "...puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, mazes, jumbles, crosswords, encoded Scriptures and close-ended questions..." The authors then comment, "No one learns anything of substance - except that the church and God and the Bible are aimless, tedious, confusing, boring, and a monumental waste of time. That's the hidden curriculum our students actually retain."
The "How Does Your Curriculum Rate questionnaire" is a helpful tool for evaluating a church's curriculum (188). Chapter nine, Renovating the Sermon, is the most radical change proposed in the book in which the authors suggest a more interactive format rather than the traditional preaching-teaching format. Chapter then, Welcome Change, encourages the church to move forward by applying these changes in an incremental fashion and preparing the change agents for some resistance. The Epilogue provides some positive anecdotal evidence from different churches that have adopted these principles using different materials from Group Publishing.
While the authors make several good observations and offer some helpful insights as to how a church may improve their approach to and method of Christian education, some of the observations are overstatements, especially concerning the use of and importance of Scripture memorization (Chapter four). Not all teachers simply present Scriptures without explaining them. Furthermore, Psalm 119:9, 11 (compare with Prov 7:2-3; 22:17-18) does require that the verses be memorized so that one may meditate upon them and be transformed by them (Rom 12:1-2) (62-65).
The authors also have a tendency to use some Scripture references out of context in attempting to make their point. As an example: The authors identify the "word" in Psalm 119:9,11 with the "Word" in John 1:1,14 based on their connecting hiding Jesus in ones heart with hiding God's word in ones heart (64-65). However, the "word' in Psalm 119 refers to the OT Scriptures, namely the Law or Pentateuch. Note the synonymous terms for word in the immediate context: commandments (v.10), statutes (v. 12), ordinances (v. 13), testimonies (v. 14), precepts and ways (v. 15) and statutes and word (v. 16). The "Word" in John 1:1 is clearly identified as Jesus, the Son of God (v. 14 "And the Word became flesh...," see Heb 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1-4), not the written word.
The author's suggestions regarding renovating the sermon fails to recognize preaching as the method God chose to communicate His truth to the church and unbelievers who will listen. While I agree that the use of voice inflection, gestures, movement, audio and visual aids, object lessons, illustrations and stories should be employed; the sermon is a proclamation time not a conversation time. The fact that many choose not to hear and apply God's Word is not an indication that the sermon must be renovated, but that people do not want to hear sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:1-5). The authors fail to mention that many of the disciples who were following Jesus withdrew after His teaching on who He is and how one has eternal life through Him (John 6:60-66). To state it in the author's format: Is the goal of preaching to build an audience or to proclaim the truth? Is success measured by how large one can gather a crowd to hear what it wants to hear or by how faithful the message is to God's Word? 2 Tim 2:15 and 4:1-5 set forth our charge and duty in preaching, which is contrary to the Schultz's instructions in Renovating the Sermon.

Not Good  Feb 27, 2009
This book is on it's 10th anniversary, which should tell you something about how up-to-date it's recommendations are. It's not very useful, and it feels a bit disingenuous. It starts with an extensive critique of most curriculum and then it wraps up with a sales pitch for their own curriculum. Don't waste your time here.

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