At its core, the Brookside Institute is all about building and reinforcing foundations of the Christian faith. We do this because we believe that something called "catechesis" - even though we don't always call it that - is still important and worthwhile. (Click here and here for a couple of posts explaining and reinforcing the continuing value of catechesis.) We love offering classes that help people Dig Deep, Learn Good, and Launch Well.
Everything in this post so far (in my biased opinion) helps paint a picture of WHAT the Institute is all about, and WHY I believe so strongly in this equipping ministry for the local church. But at least one more important question still needs to be answered: HOW do we go about doing this?
I suppose there's a few angles by which this question could be approached, but one such helpful angle is by the category of "core values." Very simply, core values describe the behaviors that already exist in any organization that help make the organization what it is and keep it on track. (For more on this, see Patrick Lencioni's The Advantage.) While everyone at every layer of an organization may not be able to recite the core values word for word, when any of these people hear the core values, they should say "Oh yeah, that makes sense. Here's how I've seen those things played out in my area."
So...HOW does the Brookside Institute go about doing what it does? Here - in very brief form - is a look inside our playbook at 3 core values of the Brookside Institute:
Not overwhelming in the bad sense (like defeated orsteamrolled), but overwhelming in the good sense - you can't take our classes without looking at the Bible, and digging into the Bible, and learning fresh things from the Bible. It’s obvious that we’re intentional with pointing people to God’s Word. If it didn’t sound even weirder than “overwhelmingly biblical” I might’ve said “overtly biblical.”
We are focused on “the majors” of Christianity, and emphasizing biblical engagement, theological formation, and connecting what we learn with Christian character and Christian mission. As we focus on these things, our attitude is gracious and we see everyone in the class - both teacher as students - as learners.
There's something inherently contagious about seeing people doing stuff they authentically love doing. We want to show that Institute teachers evidently enjoy teaching. And students have fun learning. Just because our content can be serious doesn't mean we can't have fun diving into it.
If you've taken Institute classes, how have you seen one or more of these values play out in practice? If you've never taken an Institute class, what are some practical ways you'd hope to see these values lived out?
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.