I'm someone who needs to know what the general direction of purpose something has before embarking on something with a peace of mind. For instance, I find it thoroughly unsettling to drive following solely the directions of a GPS without first (and frequently) looking at the overall route the GPS is taking me. Perhaps it is my lack of faith and trust in all things technological in particular, but I simply HAVE to know which highway or which route the GPS is taking me so that I can anticipate turns or what nots.
But I think it's not just a matter of knowing what route it is so that I don't get lost or so that I know I'm not wasting petrol, I feel that I carry this general attitude of having to know what the general direction or end goal is for anything I do, whether it be courses I study in school, or even my religious development (ie. how church or bible studies might be guiding my walk with God).
Yesterday's bible study session with the wife of the pastor gave me one of those 'nirvana' moments which I often use (quite loosely actually) when describing any moment of sudden enlightment I achieve when I'm doing something or studying (sometimes known to be the 'Aha! Moment')
Something that has always bothered me as a Christian was how vastly different the practices, principles, emphases, worship styles or even preaching methods are amongst the different denominations. How can one religion which supposes the worship of 1 God have so many vastly different ways of doing things? And as much as I could draw the obvious differences between the charismatic and non-charasmatic churches (such as mine), I could never quite lay a finger on what my current church was aiming for it's members to 'learn'.
Last night, Faith (the Wife-of Pastor) told us that as much as many churches emphasise what we should be doing/behaving as chrisitians, this church actually emphasizes what God has already done for us, and all that fantastic fancy-shmansy stuff He's done eons ago that we're enjoying now. And by doing this, they're actually attempting to instill such a attitude of thanksgiving in the people such that they naturally want to change their behaviour out of an attitude of gratefulness etc.
When I heard this, I couldn't help but go 'OHHHhhhhhhh.. that makes SO much sense now!'
And what made this 'Aha!' moment so 'aha-ish' was that it linked in so beautifully with what I'd been learning in school about general cognitive processes used by people. (I love it when I can actually apply what I'm learning in school to outside the classroom, come on, I'm not jsut paying $30K a year to take an exam and throw what I've learnt away!)
As what we often encounter with various Speech and language interventions, they often either adopt a 'top-down' or 'bottom-up' approach. The method of teaching which the church has in this case, would thus be a bottom-up process in my opinion, aiming to change our attitudes and underlying principles, in order to generate a desired behaviour.
Which I thought was way way more brilliant than any scare-tactics, guilt-tactics or salesman-tactics some churches might actually be using.
Well, at least I feel that it would most probably result in the longest lasting effects (In therapy terms now, =)