Increase uses expertise of members and Equippers to bring innovation to the world of TEE. Church-based training is at the heart of what we do and TEE courses are tried and tested. But we want to keep TEE fresh and relevant for 21st century believers. Two of the ways we do this are by writing new courses and creating digital versions of courses.
Writing New Courses
Increase is committed to seeing new TEE courses written specifically for Asia and Asian believers today. Many of the TEE courses used widely among our members are good courses that have stood the test of time. But there are issues in Asia’s multiple contexts and that were not addressed in those courses.
The world has changed, and TEE students have changed. We need courses to equip all God’s people for His mission in today’s world.
The need for 21st century courses
Asia has changed dramatically over recent decades and we need materials that can help today’s Christians deal with the situations they face. Many Christians in Asia are first-generation believers, and this means they need materials that can help them to renew their mind in Christ.
In Increase we don’t want to develop courses which only help believers grow in knowledge, but courses bring transformation and a deeper love of God. We want writers to develop courses for every believer who wants to live out their faith in their family, job, and neighbourhood.
Aims of new courses
The aim of these new TEE courses is to help learners in community
Shine the light of the Bible on specific situations in local contexts
Integrate action and reflection intentionally
Grow more Christlike in knowledge, attitudes, abilities and relationships
Be transformed themselves and help bring transformation in their circles of influence
A team of writers
In 2017 the first group of 21st Century TEE course writers came together and formed teams. They went through a series of three workshops over two years. In between the workshops there was time to work on their courses. A writing coach was available to guide the writing teams through the process. Some teams wrote a completely new course, while others started from an existing course, and thoroughly revised it for their local context.
New way of writing
Currently Increase is working on a major revision of the Course Writers’ Training programme. We are moving away from a three-workshop format and creating a set of modules, based on ‘just-in-time’ learning principles that will be easily reproducible. This new format will allow writing teams to take the training at their own pace, just when they need it. The support of a writing coach has proved invaluable, and is still a feature of the new training method. At the moment course writers from ORTA, the TEE team in Russia, are using this new method to write their own 21st century courses.
In recent years the call for exploring online and digital possibilities has grown. The pandemic, starting in 2020, has made the need for digitalisation urgent, and it has forced TEE practitioners to fresh creativity.
Our online conference, Light for the Journey, in March 2021 highlighted plenary sessions devoted to Online Best Practice. Here are some of the innovative ways Increase members have answered the call for online learning options.
Online self study and exams
Blended tutor training
Innovative group discussion and tutor training
Another development with enormous potential is the availability of TEE courses on smartphones. This brings great opportunities for sharing courses and making them available in an accessible format.
It also brings limitations, for example with open-ended questions. Currently two courses are available in smartphone format: Abundant Life and Come Follow Me.
The smartphone app for Come Follow Me is available for group leaders who can then share it with their students and follow their progress. In this way, the group dynamic, and personal relationships are still at the heart of the course.