What is the reason for the development of the method?
The immediate reason for the method arose after Ronald, as a fundraiser for the Agapè Foundation (2006-2014), had studied what the Bible says about money and everything related to it. A world opened up in the Bible that Ronald had never observed. More than 2000 texts appear to cover topics such as: "do business fairly, care for the poor and the stranger, care for the land / creation, relationships, dealing with money and talents, etc. "
The texts are throughout the Bible and they provide tools for developing a God-pleasing lifestyle as a Christian.
It became clear to Ronald that practical education about these things hardly takes place within the church (in the Netherlands).
Other new insights
More insights emerged during that time, such as:
- The realization that the Jewish people still occupy an important place in God's heart today.
- The importance of forming followers of Jesus Christ. In short discipleship.
- The importance of celebrating the parties, including the Autumn parties.
- The insight that we are dealing with in the Bible with Hebrew thinking / God's thinking in the Old and New Testament. Hebrew thinking is in many ways at odds with the Greek thinking that dominates the culture in which we live. Hebrew thinking can be summarized in: You get to know God by doing what He says and assume a holistic image of man (body and soul / spirit is one). Greek thinking strives for spiritual TRUTH (veritas). It has a dualistic view of man, where the spiritual is much higher than the earthly.
The Bible does not exclude anyone from faith, the Bible encourages us to do what God requires of us and to honor Him. Jesus puts the children in the center of the disciples, and says: look at them, learn from them how you can believe. That is quite a different way of looking at faith and teaching children.
The question to God was, what do YOU want me to do with these things and how?
It became clear to Ronald that God asked him to develop a children's work method in which all these elements would be present.
But how then Lord, how can I teach the children all this? was Ronald's question.
Because things seem to be separate from the Gospel. Many of the commandments are in the first 5 books of the Bible. As well as the instructions for celebrating the Feasts (Leviticus 23). The relationship of God with Israel also finds its origin there. These things seem to have nothing to do with the Gospel.
God immediately provided a solution that was not very obvious. Ronald came across the book, "Markus and the Torah" from 1987. This book is a doctoral research by Dr. Dirk Monshouwer, pastor within the Reformed Church. He investigated the relationship between a three-year reading schedule of the Torah and the Mark gospel. (It is about the Three Year Torah Cycle. More about this in the brochure about the class schedule on this site, page 8-11.) Monshouwer discovered that the Markus Gospel was written to the rhythm of this reading schedule. And what is the rhythm? The rhythm is the Feasts of God that are celebrated every year. The themes of the parties are highlighted in the reading schedule exactly on the date that they are to be celebrated. You only discover this secret if you follow this schedule.
It does not surprise us that the Mark gospel also follows the rhythm of the festivals, because Jesus came to earth to fulfill the scriptures and therefore also the festivals. Mark wanted to make this clear when writing his Gospel. And because the entire Gospel is so clearly present in the Torah, the Torah is also called the fifth Gospel.
This discovery paved the way to start Biblical teaching in Hebrew from Genesis 1 and to let the children discover from verse 1 of Genesis that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are present and what the plan is for Their creation .
Along the way, the children discover how everything refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. They discover the plan of God with the Jewish people and His church. And as they go through the Torah and the Gospels in a Hebrew way (doing what it says), they discover how God's commandments are still full of wisdom and LIFE today. All components could / could find a place within this context.
This was the start of the adventure. During the five years of development, God has added many elements to the method that were not provided in advance. The most important elements are on the page core of Out and about! and in the overview of it schedule.