Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
How to be on mission in the city
Wed May 15, 2013
by Stephen Um
How to love people well
Tue May 14, 2013
by Dave Bruskas
5 Reasons Cohorts Beat Learning Alone
Have you ever met the young Christian who is so excited about the Word that they set out to read the Bible cover to cover? In my experience, this naive excitement hits a brick wall about twenty pages into Numbers, and the young Christian often looks back on the experience with a sense of defeat and inadequacy.
Learning in community provides a culture of exhorting, encouraging, helping, and mourning with each other.
When seasoned disciples take the step into a rigorous training program, the same thing can happen—they can be deceived into thinking they can do it alone. This is my plea to you to learn in community and an explanation for why Re:Train is cohort-based.
Learning in community
We like to believe the “great man” myth that says one person with great ideas, the right amount of strength, and a lot of initiative can take on anything. Many leaders prove this by having the hubris to take on learning alone. These people generally burn out, disqualify themselves, or get bored. Humble leaders know that they need others. Community isn’t just a helpful tool—it’s a necessity. At Re:Train we’ve seen cohorts get into each other’s lives to deal with heart issues, get into their study habits to help build up skills, and ask hard questions about ministry and family to help each other grow. Learning in this type of community gives individuals freedom to pour into each other instead of just focusing on themselves.
Pushing through the hard times
Every great task is going to have its trials, and often when taking it on alone, we give up or change our mission. Learning in community provides a culture of exhorting, encouraging, helping, and mourning with each other. Hard times will come, whether it’s difficult assignments, family trials, sin issues, or a host of other problems. A cohort is there to help each other through it.
When studying Scripture, we all come to the text with our own biases and preconceived ideas. If we study on our own, it's easy to gloss over uncomfortable truths or miss the full application of what God has to say in Scripture. When learning in community, we're less likely to jump to conclusions, but instead are challenged by getting different perspectives on how the truth of Scripture applies to life. Iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17), and cohort learning makes this happen.
When learning in a cohort setting with other leaders, you will hear all kinds of stories of theology applied to life. At Re:Train we have some students who’ve been in ministry for 30 years, and others who are brand-new. We’ve seen the seasoned leaders take the new guys under their wing to prepare them for the ministry they’re heading into, and we’ve seen the younger leaders broaden the veterans’ perspectives by telling them their stories and sharing the convictions of their ministries.
When learning in a group, students discover how to lead each other. With a movement like Acts 29, we need to prepare thousands of pastors, deacons, community group leaders, and parents for ministering to all of the new people who are coming to Christ. This means we need leaders who can raise up and lead other leaders—not just people who have knowledge, but people who can lead well with knowledge.
Learn more about the unique cohort-based programs at Re:train.