1-3-12-Training and Staff
Visitors Arrive from Eastern Lands
Bethlehem is a small town five miles south of Jerusalem. It sits on a high ridge over 2,00 feet above sea level. It is mentioned in more detail in the Gospel of Luke. Luke also explains why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, rather than in Nazareth, their home town.
The land of Israel was divided into four political districts and several lesser territories. Judea was to the south. Samaria in the middle, Galilee to the north, and Idumea to the southeast. Bethlehem of Judea (also called Judah 2:6) had been prophesied as the Messiah’s birthplace (Micah 5:2). Jerusalem was also in Judea and was the seat of government for Herod the Great, king over all four political districts. After Herod’s death, the districts were divided among three separate rulers. Although he was a ruthless, evil man who murdered many in his own family. Herod the Great supervised the renovation of the temple, making it much larger and more beautiful. This made him popular with many Jews. Jesus would visit Jerusalem many times because the great Jewish festivals were held there.
Not much is known about these Magi (traditionally called wise men). We don’t know where they came from or how many there were. Tradition says they were men of high position from Parthia, near the site of ancient Babylon. How did they know the star represented the Messiah? (1) They could have been Jews who remained in Babylon after the exile and knew the Old Testament predictions of the Messiah coming. (2) They may have been eastern astrologers who studied ancient manuscripts from ground the world. Because of the Jewish exile centuries earlier, they would have had copies of the Old Testament in their land. (3) They may have had a special message from God directing them to the Messiah. Some scholars say these Magi were each from a different land, representing the entire world bowing before Jesus. These men from faraway lands recognized Jesus as King over the whole world, not just Judea.
The Magi traveled thousands of miles to see the king of the Jews. When they finally found him, they responded with joy, worship, and gifts. This is so different from the approach people often take today. We expect God to come looking for us, to explain himself, prove who he is, and give us gifts. But those who are wise still seek and worship Jesus today, not for what they can get, but for who he is.
The chief priests and teaches of the law were aware of Micah 5:2 and other prophecies about thee Messiah. The Magi news troubled Herod because he knew that the Jewish people expected the Messiah to come soon (Luke 3:15). Most Jews expected the Messiah to be a great military and political deliverer, like Alexander the Great. Herod’s counselors would have told Herod this. No wonder this ruthless man took no chances and ordered all the baby boys in Bethlehem killed (2:16).
Matthew often quoted Old Testament prophets. This prophecy paraphrasing Micah 5:2 had been delivered seven centuries earlier.
Most religious leaders believed in a literal fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy, therefore, they believed the Messiah would be born on Bethlehem, ironically, when Jesus was born, these same religious leaders became His greatest enemies. When the Messiah for whom they had been waiting finally came, they didn’t recognize him.
Herod did not want to worship Christ-he was lying. This was a trick to get the Magi to return to him and reveal the whereabouts of the newborn King. Herod’s plan was to kill Jesus.
Jesus was probably one or two years old when the Magi found him. By this time, Mary and Joseph were married, living in a house, and intending to stay in Bethlehem for a while. For more on why Joseph and Mary stayed.
The Magi said they saw Jesus’ star. Balaam referred to a coming star… out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17). Some say this star may have been a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars in 6 B.C., and others offer various other explanations. But couldn’t God, who created the heavens, have created a special star to signal the arrival of His Son? Whatever the nature of the star, these Magi traveled thousands of miles searching for a king, and they found him.
Herod the Great was quite disturbed when the Magi asked about a newborn king of the Jews because (1) Herod was not the rightful heir to the throne of David; therefore many Jews hated him as a usurper. if Jesus really was an heir, trouble would arise. (2) Herod was ruthless and, because of his many enemies, he was suspicious that someone would try to overthrow him. (3) Herod didn’t want the Jews, a religious people, to unite around a religious figure. (4) If these Magi were of Jewish descent and from Parthia (the most powerful region next to Rome), they would have welcomed a Jewish king who could swing the balance of power away from Rome. The land of Israel, far from Rome. The land of Israel, far from Rome, would have been easy prey for a nation trying to gain more control.
The Magi gave these expensive gifts because they were worthy presents for a future king. Bible students have seen in the gifts symbols of Christ identity and what he would accomplish. Gold was a gift for a king; incense, a gift for deity, myrrh, a spice for a person who was going to die. These gifts may have provided the financial resources for the trip to Egypt, and back.
The Magi brought gifts and worshiped Jesus for who He was. This is the essence of worship-honoring Christ for who he is and being willing to give him what is valuable to you. Worship God because he is the perfect, just, and almighty Creator of the Universe, worthy of the best you have.
Jesus was born a descendent of King David during the reign of King Herod. The Roman Senate had appointed Herod to rule Judea. Reaction to Jesus’ birth was mixed. The Magi came to worship Jesus, while King Herod tried to kill him.
have you ever been at a party where an attempt was made to celebrate just for the sake of celebration? i have, and I found it to be exceptionally contrived and boring. A true celebration must be rooted in an event.
In both the Old and New Testaments, worship is rooted in an actual event. The content of Old Testament worship is determined by the Exodus-event, while the content of New Testament worship is determined by the Christ-event. In either case, biblical worship celebrates the event and makes it come alive again.
… We don’t go to worship to celebrate what we have done. We don’t say, “Look, Lord, isn’t it wonderful that I believe in you!” No! We go to worship to praise and thank God for what he has done, is doing, and will do. God’s work in Christ is the focus of worship. And it is the focus we need to recapture as we seek to renew our public worship experience.
(From Worship is a Verb by Robert E. Webber)
How do I respond to Jesus, the King? Do I worship him? Do I celebrate his birth, life, death, and resurrection? What do I bring to give to him? Bring a gift to Jesus in your prayer, worship, or service.
“Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).
We celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord on January 6th, the day that Magi from the east followed a star and came in search of Messiah. Not only were they students of astronomy, but also of God’s promises. Perhaps they had prepared for this time with those Hebrew Scriptures that were translated into Greek before Christ’s birth. No matter how they knew, God’s promises of a Messiah were clearly communicated to those outside of Israel. The Magi traveled to Jerusalem in search of the King, bringing Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It was their way of worshipping this infant incarnation of God.
Like the Magi, you and I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn about God’s promises to send a Savior. God has given us faith to recognize that Jesus is the Promised One. Also like the Magi, God’s love in Jesus inspires us to worship Him. As you gather with other Christians to worship Jesus, offer your most precious gift – yourself, committed anew to His mission.
In celebration of Christ’s revelation to all the world, set aside a gift today to support those in the mission field.
Bless us today, Lord, forgiving us all our sins, renewing us by the power of the Holy Spirit, and strengthening us for the world to come.
They presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11
The wise men traveled hundreds of miles to give the Christ Child gold, frankincense and myrrh. The right present has a long journey attached to it. One that puts you in the ranks of those who realized that a little child could be an uncrowned king.
After finding Jesus and worshiping him, the Magi were warned by God not to return through Jerusalem as they had intended. Finding Jesus may mean that your life must take a different direction, one that is responsive and obedient to God’s word. Are you willing to be led a different way?
Why was it important that Jesus be born in Bethlehem?
If the Magi were pagan astrologers, why would they leave everything in order to follow that star?
In light of the prophecy (v.6), why was Herod so concerned that the baby be found?
Trace the responses of the Magi upon seeing Jesus. How is that similar to the responses that Christians make to Jesus? How is it different?
What do the star, the Magi, the gifts, the homage, the hostility, and the prophecy teach about the significance of Jesus?
In your “journey” toward God, how are you like the Magi? Unlike them? Have you had to leave anything to follow Jesus?
What is the “gold, incense and myrrh” in your life? How have you offered this to Jesus?
And when they had opened their treasures, they presente unto him gifts…. – Matthew 2:11
Their is no better gift to bring the Christ Child than a heart aflame with His divine fire.
Blessed Jesus, fire my heart with a childlike sense of wonder, and let that be the treasure I offer to You always.
There were many Jews living in Babylon from the time of the deportation in 600 B.C. Daniel was one of the Jews deported to Babylon and he prophesized the exact time of Christ’s baptism when He wrote:
Read Daniel 9:24-25
Underline the words “Seventy ‘Sevens'” in Daniel 9:24.
In the prophetic language used by Daniel, the term “seventy ‘sevens'” is understood to be referring to a period of time. Some Bible scholars prefer the translation “seventy weeks”. All agree, however, that one prophetic day was used to symbolize one year.
One must count the “prophetic years” by starting at the time of the decree to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem up until the beginning of the last week of the prophecy. It is enough for us to know that it tells the exact date of Jesus’ baptism at the beginning of the year of preparation. God revealed this fact 600 years before its fulfillment to the prophet Daniel.
Balaam was also from Babylon. Balaam had prophesied that a star would come out of Jacob and that a Sceptor (a king) would rise out of Israel. (Numbers 24:17).
Now let’s look at a third prophet, the prophet Micah. Micah lived 700 years before Jesus. He prophesied the exact place in which Jesus was going to be born. According to Micah 5;2, where was Christ to be born?
The highest court among the Jews was called the Sanhedrin. It was made up of important Jews under the leadership of the high priest. They advised King Herod.
We know that the Emperor (Cesar Augustus was a foreigner who live in Rome thousands of Miles from Bethlehem and, therefore could have known absolutely nothing about the prophecy of Micah. Why, then, did Caesar Augustus decreed this census
God is sovereign at all times and in all countries of the world. He is king of kings and Lord of Lords.
His kingdom was an international one.
What do Christians celebrate on Epiphany?
Give thanks to God that Jesus Christ doesn’t know any racial barriers. Ask the Lord to give you the same love in your heart to those who are foreigners to you.
Have you heard the American’s prayer? “Lord, give me patience …, And I want it right now!”
It’s awfully hard for a country that exists on frozen dinners, instant mashed potatoes, powdered orange juice, packaged cake mixes, instant-print cameras, and freeway express lanes to teach its young how to wait. In fact, it’s next to impossible.
One evening I was fussing about seeds in the grapes my wife had served for supper. Cynthia edge up to me and quietly asked: “Do you know why seeds in grapes bug you?”
She smiled. “It’s because you’re too impatient to dig them out first. The purple grapes really taste better … but they take a little more time.”
There I stood, riveted to the pantry door by a very true (yet painful) set of facts. I was too busy, too much in a hurry to split open a grape and pull out the seeds. Wow! No wonder waiting is such a difficult hassle for me to handle.
Wouldn’t you rather do anything than wait? If the truth were known, some of us would rather do the wrong thing than wait.
I have found, however, that waiting is the rule rather than the exception in life. The exception is an open door; when you have one – go! They don’t happen very often! But waiting, when the door is closed doesn’t mean you’re out of the will of God. You could be right in the center of His will.
The open door is the exception. The burst of green lights happen just a few seconds in life. The rest of the time is filled with a few yellow lights, and mostly red lights that flash, “Wait, wait, wait!”
(From Three Steps Forward and Two Steps Back by Charles Swindoll)
Obey God’s command in all circumstances. It’s easy to compromise when people are waiting for you to act. Determine that no matter the pressure, no matter the cost, no matter the delay, you will act only when your response honors God. Never compromise your integrity to satisfy others.
Develop and implement a more useful training program,
Discuss five training techniques,
Explain how you would go about identifying training requirements.
List seven principles of learning,
Prepare a training chart.
The main purpose of this lesson is to increase your effectiveness as a trainer. We discuss how to assess training requirements, how to apply “principles of learning” and how to use training techniques. In terms of our “ABCs” of performance, training is important. It is largely thought training that trainees (1) find out what you expect of them; (2) develop the necessary skills and (3) learn something about the consequences of performing effectively or ineffectively.
Training-improving an employee’s job related skills – is an important prerequisite for performance. Often, in other words, when a person is performing poorly, it is not because he or she does not want to do better, but, rather, because he hasn’t the skills to do what is expected well; training can often rectify such a problem.
Keep in mind, however, that when a person is not performing well it is often not for lack of training. Instead the consequences of performance may be negative.
What training is required?
In determining what sort of training is required, it is useful to distinguish the training needs. Here your aim is to develop the skills and knowledge required for effective performance, and so the training is usually based on a detailed study to determine what specific skills and knowledge are required.
Is training required?
Analyzing problems in order to assess the need for training basically involves:
Identify improvement areas;
Measure actual performance, and identify deficiencies (or problems);
Analyze the cause of the problem: does it lie in the behavior, or consequences?
A typical analysis might be as follows:
First, it comes to the attention of those in training that there is some sort of problem. For example, there may be obvious problems like: accidents; fatigue.
Having determined that a problem may exist those in training begin to analyze the problem.
Next, they interview and closely observe the training involved.
The next step is to analyze the cause of the problem, using the “ABCs” of training. For example, ask: Does he or she know what is expected, in terms of good performance?
Next, having identified the cause of the problem, one can plan and implement the necessary change.
As often as not, the solution does turn out to be training. Remember, however, that the problem often lies not in the trainees skills, but in the fact that he or she doesn’t know what is expected or that the consequences for performing are negative or inadequate. In other words, there may in fact be a need for training-the person hasn’t the skills. On the other hand the solution may lie in providing positive consequences. With that in mind, we can turn to a discussion of training, beginning with an explanation of how people learn.
There are certain things anyone knows not to do…. You don’t fight a lion with a toothpick. You don’t sneeze into the wind. You don’t go bear hunting with a cork gun. And you don’t send a shepherd boy to battle a giant.
You don’t, that is, unless you are out of options. Saul was. And it is when we are out of options that we are most ready for God’s surprises. Was Saul ever surprised!
The king tried to give David some equipment. “What do you want, boy? Shield? Sword? Grenades? Rifles? A helicopter? We’ll make a Rambo out of you.”
David had something else in mind. Five smooth stones and an ordinary leather sling.
The soldiers gasped. Saul sighed. Goliath jeered. David swung. And God made his point. “Anyone who underestimates what God can do with the ordinary has rocks in his head.”
You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, by God.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In a society that has little room for second fiddles, that’s good news. In a culture where the door of opportunity opens only once and then slams shut, that is a revelation. In a system that ranks the value of a human by the figures of his salary or the shape of her legs… let me tell you something: Jesus’ plan is a reason for joy! Jesus told John that a new kingdom was coming – a kingdom where people have value not because of what they do, but because of whose they are.
(From The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado)
What battle are you facing this week? Even if it’s bigger than you can handle, it’s not bigger than God can handle. Proceed with his backing. God does not see or judge in the same way that humans do. Peolple look at the visible, but God looks at the Heart. He evaluates our inner disposition and character. Spend more time cultivating your character than your circumstances.
Principles of Learning
Training is essentially a learning process and so to train you should understand something about how people learn. Research into why people learn (and how to get them to learn) has been going on for years and there are still no surefire answers. But we do have some findings that are useful, and we do have some findings that are useful, and we discuss these “principles” of learning.
Make the Method meaningful
First, we know it’s easier for trainees to understand and remember material that is meaningful. And, Wexley and Yukl say there are at least six ways in which you can make your training materials more meaningful:
At the start of training, provide the trainees with a bird’s eye view of the material to be presented knowing the overall picture and understanding how each part of the program fits into it helps make the entire program more meaningful.
Make sure you use a variety of familiar examples when presenting material to the trainees.
Organize the material so that it is presented in a logical manner and has meaningful units.
Split the material up into meaningful chunks rather then presenting it all at once.
Try to use terms and concepts that are already familiar to the trainees.
Use as many visual aids as possible to augment “theoretical” materials.
Make Provision for Learning.
Maximize the Similarity between the Training Situation and the living situation.
Provide Adequate Experience with the Tasks during Training. As a rule, the more your trainee can practice the task, the better will be his or her learning.
Provide for a Variety of Examples when Teaching Concepts or Skills. For example, if you’re trying to “get across” a concept, present examples of instances which represent and do not represent the concepts – like the right and wrong way of doing some task.
label or Identify Important Features of the Task.
Make Sure that the Trainee Understands General Principles. This is really a variation on the idea that you should make the material as meaningful as possible. Thus if your trainee understands the general principles underlying what is being taught he’ll probably understand it better than if he were just asked to memorize a series of isolated steps.
As you might imagine, based on our discussions of positive reinforcement trainees who are given feedback on their progress usually learn faster and perform better than those who aren’t. As a rule, feedback should be fast and frequent.
Motivate Your Trainee
Educational psychologists know that to get students (or trainees) to learn, You have to first get them to want to learn. And if you think about classes in which you have done especially well (or bodily) you will probably agree that this is so.
How do you go abot motivating trainees? make sure your trainee understands how his training can be instrumental in his success. Clarify the goals of the training. Explain how job performance is related to rewards like incentive. And explain how the training can improve his performance and thereby boost his rewards.
Some of the other learning guidelines we just discussed are also relevant here. For example, making the material meaningful and providing quick feed back and reinforcement will help motivate your trainee. The reinforcement aspect is especially important: provide a quick positive reinforcement (this might just take the form of a reward” like a compliment for “a job well done”).
Provide for Practice and Repetition
Practice and repetition are important for learning new skills. Skills that are practiced often are better learned and less easily forgotten.
Seven Principles of Learning for Trainers
Based upon our previous discussion and the work of a number of psychologist, here are some important principles of learning to keep in mind:
Trainees learn best by doing. Try to give them as much “real life” practice as possible.
Trainees learn best when correct responses on their part are immediately reinforced.
Provide reinforcement as quickly and frequently as possible. Don’t wait until the end of the day to tell trainees they’ve “done well.” Instead, reinforce frequently, whenever they do something right.
Provide for practice in a variety of settings. This helps ensure that your trainees become familiar with performing the task in a setting similar to the one they’ll find. If also helps them apply their learning in a variety of settings.
Motivate your trainees. Trainees who are motivated are more likely to learn and apply their new knowledge and skills than those who are unmotivated. make sure they see how the training will be to their success and rewards.
Make the learning meaningful by using familiar examples and summaries and by intelligently organizing the material.
Finally, we know that trainees learn better when they learn at their own pace. Think about how you would feel with someone looking over your shoulder and prodding you as you try to learn a new subject. Most people don’t learn well under these conditions. Instead, the learn best when they are all owned to proceed at their own pace.
Lectures are one of the most simple ways of imparting knowledge to trainees. Here the training instructor presents a series of facts, concepts, or principles, and explains relationships. As most students are painfully aware, lectures are usually a means of “telling” trainees something. The students (or trainees) participate mainly as listeners. In training, the most important uses of lectures include:
Reducing anxiety about upcoming training programs or organizational changes by explaining their purposes.
Introducing a subject and presenting an overview of the scope.
Presenting basic material that will provide a common background for subsequent activities.
Illustrating the application of rules, concepts or principles; reviewing, clarifying, or summarizing.
The main advantage of the lecture method is that it is simple and efficient. The trainer can present more material in a given amount of time than he or she can by almost any other method, and can do so with very large groups.
But as most students know lecture have some important drawbacks, they usually don’t provide for student participation, and unless that material is very interesting, little learning make take place. People learn skills by doing and therefore lectures are inadequate by themselves for teaching new skills or for changing attitudes. We also know that the necessary stress on verbal communication can prove very frustrating to some students. And while a skillful lecturer can adapt his material to the specific group, usually it is almost impossible to adjust it for individual differences with in a group.
Whether the programmed learning device itself is a textbook or a computer, programmed learning always consist of three functions:
Presenting questions facts, or problems to the learner.
Allowing the person to respond.
Providing feedback on the accuracy of his or her answers.
The main advantage of programmed learning is that usually it reduces training time by about one third. And since it lets people learn their own rate provides immediate feedback and reduces the risk of error, it should also facilitate learning.
We know, however, that trainees usually do not learn much more with programmed learning than they would with a conventional textbooks approach. Yet the costs of developing the materials for programmed learning can be quite high. Therefore you have to carefully weigh the cost of developing such programs against the accelerated (but not better) learning which should occur.
Conferences can be used in various ways. Sometimes the trainer guides the discussion and presents information in such a way that the facts, principles, or concepts are explained. At other times the purpose of a conference is to find an answer to a question or a solution to a problem. Here the group is used to develop the best solution. The instructor’s jobs is to define the problem and encourage full participation in the discussion.
The main advantage of conferences is that they permit your people to actively engage in discussion. This is important because, for most people, the opportunity to express one’s own views can be very stimulating.
The main limitation to using conferences is probably the lack of good conference leaders. A good conference leader can:
Clearly identify the central problem.
See to it that all participants are encouraged to present points of view and develop alternatives.
See to it that there is a clear agenda to follow.
Minimize debate over unimportant details.
Prevent domination by one or two individuals.
Provide clear summaries on each point.
People learn best by getting actively involved in the activity itself and small groups can be very useful for gaining such involvement. In the typical group, trainees are divided into five to ten person groups. They are given a goal, and are told they can make several specific involvement/actions.
There is usually a great sense of excitement and enjoyment in playing small group, And in addition to bringing an enjoyable way to develop a problem-solving skills, groups also help focus attention on the need for planning rather than on “putting out fires.” They can therefore useful for developing leadership skills, and for fostering cooperation and teamwork.
Evaluating the Training Efforts
It is unfortunate (but true) that many trainers don’t spend much time appraising the effects of training programs. For example, are your trainees learning as much as they can? Are they learning as fast as they can? Is there a better method for training them? These are some of the questions you dan answer by properly evaluating your training efforts.
The Relative Effectiveness of Different Training Methods
One of the first things for you to consider in this regard is the outcomes you are to evaluate.
Reaction. First, evaluate your trainees’ reactions to the program. Did they like the program? Did they think it worthwhile? etc.
Learning. Did your trainees learn the principles, skills, and facts that you wanted them to learn?
Behavior. next, ask whether your trainee’s behavior has changed because of the training program.
Results. last (but probably most important) ask: What find results were achieved? Your training program may succeed in terms of the reactions you get from trainees, increased learning and changes in behavior. But if you don’t get the results you were seeking, then, in the final analysis, the training has probably failed.
perhaps the trainee was not effective. Remember, however, that the results may also be inadequate because it was not a “training” problem in the first place.
Explain how you would apply our principles of learning in developing a lecture, for example, on how to train staff.
BIO:John Wesley 1703-1791 Founder of Methodism. John Wesley was
converted to Christ at the age of 35. Before his conversion, he had
done missionary work among the American Indians as an Anglican
minister. He was cast out of the Anglican Church and spent the rest of
his life preaching in the fields and on the streets. He was up each
morning before 5:00 for prayer and Bible study, and rode on horseback
15 to 20 miles a day, preaching four or five times daily. During his
lifetime, Wesley traveled 250,000 miles, preaching a total of 42,000
sermons. He died at the age of 88 and preached up to the very month in
which he died.