Ringing in the New!
As we ring in the new year, there is much to celebrate at SALT! Since our founding 27 years ago, we have compiled over 30 courses covering not only the histories of the Old and New Testaments, Bible teachings and Christian living, but also Bible Study and preaching skills. Ten years ago, we began the process of revamping outdated content. Today, we rejoice over the completion of our latest revision project, the new and improved Homiletics course.
Indeed this journey was full of twists and turns, as described by our curriculum colleague, Music, who was commissioned with the assignment. The first challenge was to overcome his own sense of inadequacy and lack of qualification. “Who am I that I should teach others how to preach God’s holy Word? If someone learns it wrong, then I would be forever held accountable!” The burden was almost unbearable, until the task was finally finished and Music was able to breathe a sigh of relief: “God bestowed great grace and timely help – I give all the glory to Him.”
Although Music had painstakingly pored over research materials for two years, he admitted, “I spent a long time writing several drafts, but none to my satisfaction. When I was most confused and at a total loss, God sent me useful reference books and articles through two brothers at the eleventh hour. What’s more, I suddenly discovered another three books in the church library on the topic of preaching, two of which are out of print. That’s where I was able to find many relevant examples to supplement the course content.”
Just when Music thought all his problems had been resolved, another challenge arose unexpectedly. “One of our national trainers asked for an extra chapter to cover narrative-style scriptures and sermons. This request terrified me because it falls out of my area of expertise. But just as unexpectedly, God led me to reference books that proved easy for me to understand.” Now, Music’s heart-cry is that through this revised Homiletics course, “with God’s blessing, more people can correctly handle the word of truth.”
In fact, Music had no need to worry about the Homiletics revision. Prior to the launch of this course, we held three field tests and received very favorable feedback. Among the participants was Brother Zhu who attests, “This course not only taught me how to master expository preaching, it helped me to better grasp the themes and purposes of God’s word and His will. It also equipped me to better explain practical applications of the truth.” We praise God for divinely guiding and providing Music with all he needed to fulfill the mission!