I have been in a few conversations recently that have reminded me of the critical importance of paying attention to the way adults learn and grow. From day one this attention to engaging adult learners has always been a distinctive feature of VantagePoint3’s efforts to help men and women deepen and develop in Jesus’ name. My colleague Pam calls it “the secret sauce” of the VP3 Pathway.
At its core, The Journey is about the development of people, not the mastery of the material; a person-centered process, not a content-centered process. This does not mean that the relevance, purpose, and wisdom of the content are unimportant. Rather, it means the formation of men and women into Christ-likeness involves far more than acquiring the right information.
Last week I stumbled upon a quote that captures so much of what I have recently been noticing in my own life and faith, and in the lives of many adults around me—“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom” (Edward O. Wilson). There can be such a disconnect between all that we know and how we actually live.
We who care deeply about this disconnect, about this hunger for wisdom, must faithfully cultivate spaces and places where adults can “move deeply into their own experience and grow” in the light of Jesus’ stunning character and way in the world. The Journey is one such place.
Most of this attention to the way adults learn and grow remains an “under the hood” conversation addressed in our facilitator trainings. If you were going through The Journey, for example, you wouldn’t necessarily think about adult learning at all, but you would experience it. In the preface to The Journey Stage 1: Biblical Foundations, however, some of our deep convictions about how adults learn and grow surface under the header WE BELIEVE.
We have developed The Journey believing the following to be true:
- You are ready to be challenged to grow deeper in your faith.
- You possess a high level of motivation as an adult learner.
- You are “the expert” on your own life and the many experiences you already possess.
- Your learning will happen best in a community of other learners.
- You will need guides along the way to help you “connect the dots” of your life.
- You can learn much from the lives of other men and women who have finished their journey faithful to God and others.
In particular, we believe God is already up to something very good in your life and community, something that calls forth from you a response with the whole of your life (Ephesians 2:10).
Blessings on the journey,
The VantagePoint3 Team
If these convictions or ideas at all “grind your coffee beans” you will find the Adult Learning: What Matters Most? conversation between Pam Edwards and myself to be a great use of your time. Find some time to listen, consider, and apply what you hear to the deepening and developing of adults in your sphere of influence.
Spirit of God, be generous among us as teachers, mentors, leaders, and developers of others…