This week I had the Cert IV students for a tutorial on how to prepare for the bible quiz that kicks off each week for them. Everything about Cert IV is intensive! To complete a Certificate IV in youth and community work at another training organization in Australia usually takes two years; Fusion has demonstrated that through our 6 month INTENSIVE program students can demonstrate the same level of consistent competency in skill, knowledge and awareness. But it takes some doing! For example in 21 weeks of study we go through 18 books of the bible.
Each Monday as a Cert IV student in 2004, I did a quiz on the bible book that we had studied in class the previous week. Having been through medical school and therefore no stranger to tests, plus being fairly well versed in the bible, it wasn’t particularly hard for me to perform well in the quizzes once I understood, intellectually, what was required. There were others in my class, however, who had different backgrounds and for whom the weekly tests posed a significant challenge.
Sometimes its easiest to focus on the credentials, to memorize the right answer, to work out the right thing to say. For some of us its easy to get good marks in the quiz. Its much harder to let God’s word into the deep parts of our beliefs and attitudes, the place where we really live, and allow it to change us. Others may never get amazing results, but their lives are a hive of constant activity and development as they wrestle to integrate what they are learning into their every day existence.
Over the last few months I have seen a number of people who had all the right answers and then lost the plot. It had all made sense, but then life happened and they were dealt a curve ball; they looked, only to find the familiar fears and ghosts of the past ruling the day. Even as I write this, I recognize that I go through this fairly regularly.
And so on Wednesday night, I got the students to share what had been significant to them as they had studied the book of Haggai. ‘I am about to give you your quiz results, but the real question is not what mark you got, but whether the things you learnt will change the way you do things this week.’
I guess its about keeping it real.