Charley’s World Episode Twenty-Six

What Pastor Sophia brought to Charley was both deeply disturbing and challenging. It was the headline of the local newspaper: Local Teen Commits Suicide. “The teen was one of my flock,” she began. “She seemed to be just like the other teens I minister to, but obviously I was very wrong. When I asked her closest friends, they told me that she seemed to have lost a sense of purpose in her life. How can I help our young people understand their why?”

Charley was stuck for an answer. He knew what wouldn’t work. That was the traditional forms of education. Then he thought about the lessons he had recently learned about learning

  • You need to develop joy in a person’s life to stimulate learning
  • Everyone needs to become both a learner and a teacher to fully value how learning can lift up their life
  • You become inspired to learn when you have role models

He shared these lessons with Pastor Sophia. Both of them just sat there for a while without saying a word. Then the Pastor asked, “Can we teach the value of purposeful living? I try to do that in my sermons, but obviously I’m not connecting with our younger church goers.”          

Charley asked if he could think about her request and get back to her. They agreed to meet in one week.

As Charley thought about how to guide learning in purposeful living he knew it must build on what he already understood about learning. He also thought about his learning group. He made a list of what he thought he knew about them

  • They love to hang out with their friends
  • They don’t like time commitments where something must be done at a specific time
  • They struggle with self-awareness
  • They are attracted to influencers
  • They are resistant to being told

As Charley thought about the traits of this new learning group, he realized that he needed to change his learning model. Then he wrote down what he thought he needed to design.

  • The learning should be discussion focused where participants learn from each other
  • The learning should show what’s possible through the use of stories of purposeful living they could relate to
  • The timing of the learning should be when the learner chooses to learn, not at a preset time
  • Learning should occur at a place where they live their lives, that is on their electronic devices

With the requirements developed, Charley began to design the learning program. He was ready to meet with Pastor Sophia. He also shared his idea with Nellie. As she heard about Charley’s plan, she got excited. “I have an idea that will blow you away,” she said.

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou (poet)