On Thursday morning we led a training workshop at a Christian University in Yogyakarta. Over 100 pastors and church leaders, predominantly men, came to learn about Coffee Break. I had practiced the Indonesian greeting “Salamut Pagi”, which simply means good morning. After some opening introductory words by others, I began my portion by greeting everyone with “Salamut Pagi”. I was expecting a murmured response, as I’d get back home, so I was overwhelmed when 100 men in unison said ‘Good Morning’ in Indonesian.
Untung knew that this crowd would be less able to understand English than the previous group, so we shortened our presentation to allow for translation. We had planned to focus on key teaching concepts, and Untung would translate as I taught. We soon developed a rhythm, of teaching and translation. We were gathered in a room that was really too small for the number of people that came, and the sound system was ringing. But the crowd was eager and attentive.
After the first break we were able to move into the chapel which was much bigger, and offered a better sound system. In addition, it offered more space to allow people to gather in groups to discuss some of the teaching, rather than just sitting in rows.
A big part of the teaching is how to “Discover Your Bible” – inductive Bible study where leaders are taught to use questions to help participants uncover what the Bible says and means. It also gives much importance to application of scripture in daily life. We decided to teach this segment inductively. As we taught each concept, we used a passage of scripture, and invited people to engage the text with questions so that they could experience some real ‘discovery’ themselves. It was fun to watch people study the Bible and laugh together.
In Indonesia, the church relies heavily on the gifts, the leading and the teaching of the pastor. The workshops that we’ve been doing encourage people to grasp a vision for effective lay ministry. We’re hoping to equip people for greater ministry opportunity, by teaching the basics of inductive Bible Study, as well as concepts around small group dynamics and evangelistic perspective.
At the close of the day, overwhelmed by peoples expression of appreciation.
In the evening we enjoyed a little Batik shopping along the very busy Malioboro Street, we enjoyed some traditional Indonesian food, and more fellowship with Untung and Ivany.
As we travel in a country so different from our own, it’s hard to comprehend all the differences in culture. Untung has been great to help us understand many things. We’ve seen people living in crowded cities, in conditions very different from the comfort we enjoy. I believe it fosters a greater sense of community.
One minor observation of this is the traffic. It gently merges from one street to the next, as large groups of cars and motorcycles maneuver through the streets. Car horns are used to caution others that you’re coming close. There is always someone nearby to direct you into tight parking spaces, or guide you into oncoming traffic with whistles and hand gestures. Even driving a car is done in the context of community.