By Dr. Hugo Gomez
“When medical professionals de-professionalize, health comes to the people.” These are the words of David Werner—globally recognized pioneer in primary health care and community health. Allow me to repurpose his words: “When educators de-professionalize, knowledge comes to the people.”
Professionals often tend towards either a conventional or progressive philosophy. Conventional educators seek to conform; Progressive educators seek to reform. Both of these approaches fall short: the first can lead to dependency, the second to anarchy. Let us instead pursue a third option, not to conform or reform, but to transform.
Transformational teaching requires that we stop trying to talk at people and start talking with them. Werner says, “To teach is to help others grow, and to grow with them. A good teacher is not someone who puts ideas into other people’s heads… but instead helps others build on their own ideas.” At some point in history, the church traded this participatory learning for impersonal, oratory teaching. At this point, the church lost its focus on the practical engagement with Biblical truth.
Let us return to the way of Christ, who invited his disciples to walk alongside him for three years, who challenged the assumptions and false beliefs of the public, who answered the questions of both outcasts and elites, who preached the news of a kingdom that involves every area of life, who trusted his followers to spread the Gospel and build his church. Christ’s primary goal as a teacher was not to conform or to reform; his mission was to transform citizens of earth into citizens of heaven.
Christ’s model of a “Good Teacher” is the foundation for the CHE Core Value of Participatory Learning. To better understand how the CHE Network describes this approach for transformational teaching, read more about the “LePSAS” model. LePSAS is an informal, inductive, participatory, dynamic, all-inclusive style that has brought Shalom into many communities.
Let me close with the words of John Mackay: “When the representatives of Christianity in Latin America would go out to the open field and introduce their faith in such a way that will appeal to the common man, a new day will dawn in the history of the continent”.
Dr. Hugo Gomez is the Co-Founder and CEO of Global CHE Enterprises (GCE)– an organization multiplying CHE programs throughout Meso-America. GCE has planted 32 new churches, and have seen more than 1,500 people come to faith in Christ. Hugo and his wife Miriam are parents to 4 grown children.