Reversal of Roles
What pride and joy we feel at SALT as our national trainers take on greater ownership over curriculum design and course development.
More than a decade ago, we created the “You Preach I Write” approach to tailor-make Bible courses for pastors in the East Asian church. While lacking expertise in writing, our national trainers excelled in preaching, using cultural illustrations and application points familiar to local believers. So, our job was to transcribe their pilot teaching and discussion recordings into text, then edit and compile the materials into manuals. In this way, our East Asian co-workers were responsible for about 30% of the course development.
Gradually over the past few years, they took on more responsibility, as planned. In 2019, we shifted to “You Preach You Write” with the Book of James. Our national trainers not only conducted the pilot teaching but also authored most of the course content. Additionally, we encouraged them to source their own editors to transcribe their recordings and draft the manuals. As such, their workload increased to around 50%. SALT staff would then make the final edits and revisions, complete with baton motions, graphics and core sheets, etc.
By 2021, we aimed to raise this to 80% as we began work on the Book of Nehemiah. This meant our East Asian counterparts took charge of producing the entire course, while our role was reduced to advisor and gatekeeper. Just weeks ago in mid-August, they wrapped up their pilot teaching and discussion of the last four lessons. Although one lesson needed revamping, the overall outcome was impressive, and a big improvement from the first four lessons. We are confident that our national trainers will grow from strength to strength.
“Everyone’s mindset has changed,” our head trainer Joseph explains. “Before, we saw ourselves as mere assistants to SALT staff, but now we understand that it’s the other way around – we are developing new courses with SALT’s help. Before, we considered these ‘SALT’ courses, but from now on, these courses belong to us (the East Asian church)!”
Joseph continued, “Although this hand-over process has been stressful, it has proven highly effective. It has catapulted our ability to interpret the Bible, organize an outline, and formalize sermon notes. It has propelled everyone to study hard, to adopt a more serious, cautious, and responsible attitude, and to be more systematic in order to deliver the best possible training.” Join us in praying for our national trainers as they make their final transition into full independence in producing indigenous Bible courses for East Asia.