Reading: Chapter 1 - Teaching This chapter is about teaching well and creatively, but Henri's message is not just for teachers in the traditional sense. Henri is speaking to every human heart. He asks us to face the things that keep us from truth, learning and growth, so that we can find freedom in ourselves and lead others in it. Below I've posted some questions to help get the discussion started but, as always, please feel free to share whatever comes up for you as you read through this chapter. 1) Consider the experience you have (past or present) as a student or as a teacher. a) Can you recognize the ways in which the experience is often competitive, unilateral and alienating? Perhaps you could provide some examples from your own experience. b) Did it surprise you to read that the student has a responsibility in facilitating a good teacher? In what areas of your life could you be a better student, and therefore facilitate a better teacher? Henri challenges each one of us to be agents of true change in the ministry of teaching, starting deep within ourselves. In order to do this we must first understand our own resistance to change. 2) Henri first refers to the assumption that it is better to give than to receive. We feel comfortable giving, but often resist receiving. a) Do you find it difficult to receive from others? b) If you do receive from others, do you immediately start planning how you can re-pay that person? c) Can you think of a person in your life whom you could bless by truly receiving (learning) from them? 3) Another factor that can keep us from truly learning is the great societal pressure we often live under. a) Do you find yourself living life all caught up in the need for formal recognition, or in meeting the expectations of others? b) Do you ever think about what it would take to shift your focus back to true living and learning under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and for the glory of God alone? 4) Finally, Henri suggests that true and deep learning can only happen if we are willing to face some of our deepest fears, and be honest about our human condition. a) What insight does the Holy Scripture give us into our human condition? b) Do you find that our culture purposely helps us to avoid the reality that we are all "naked, powerless, destined to die, and, in the final analysis, totally alone and unable to save each other or anyone else" (p25). c) Have you ever tried to truly face this reality? Or perhaps it wasn't your intention, but the circumstances of life brought you face to face with your human condition. How did your experience open your heart to the tender hand of the Teacher, our Lord Jesus Christ?