That word may bring to mind a tradesperson, like an electrician, training someone with less experience. Or perhaps it paints the picture of a medieval blacksmith, with his teen-age apprentice. Apprenticeship is the process of learning how to be something, learning how to live as something, from one who knows. It's not a work we use often.
It may surprise you but Apprentice is a much better translation of the word Christians use all the time. That word? Disciple. When we hear the word disciple we think of students, or more likely, we think of 12 robe and sandal-wearing guys from the New Testament. But that's not right. Jesus closest followers were apprentices. They were students for sure, but the were something more. They were living with Jesus, in order to learn from Jesus how to do life.
If we follow Jesus, that's our goal too.
Churches have become quite skilled at offering intellectual education and motivating volunteers. But many times the busyness of church life actually gets in the way of learning how to live from Jesus. That's what the Apprenticeship Lab is all about.
Learning from Jesus how to live.
How do we do that? We learn how to spend time with Jesus in practical do-able ways. We learn how to listen to Jesus guidance through scripture, the Holy Spirit, the community of fellow apprentices, and the world around us. We learn how to step out in faith, living as if Jesus words are true. "In that day," Jesus said, "you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in You." (John 14:20) That means Jesus is with us now. Our work is to learn how to remain in that, how to see it, and respond to it.
A laboratory is a place where learning happens through experimentation. The learner puts forward a hypothesis, and then tests they hypothesis by acting on it. It is a space of active learning. In the spiritual life we don't need Bunson burners and microscopes in order to experiment. We just need attention, time, the ability to reflect and a community where we can talk about what we're learning. So, The Apprenticeship Lab is that kind of place.
We put forward the hypothesis that we are now in Christ and that, through the Spirit, Christ is available to teach us how to live. Through intentional practices of listening, experience, and learning we can actually experience Jesus and learn from him. These intentional practices may extend far beyond what we used to think of as Religious, since our life in Christ encompasses every part of our day. We are learning how to live in the most effective way, following the teaching of Jesus.
Q: So, what does that mean for this website?
A: The ApprenticeshipLab.com site is a learning community, where we are doing the work of learning how to be with Jesus, so that we can learn from Jesus how to do life. The learning process is facilitated by modular online courses made up of written and video teaching, personal reflection through journaling, and discussion in community.
Q: Who is doing the teaching?
A: We hope that ultimately Jesus is doing the teaching. That's what we're here for. The primary trainer and coach is Marc Alan Schelske, a writer and pastor, with nearly 25 years of full-time pastoral experience. You can learn more about Marc at his website here. Marc is a teacher at heart, and his passion for helping people find practical tools for personal and spiritual growth led to the development of the Apprenticeship Lab. But Marc's heart is to teach things that equip people to own their own spiritual life and relationship with Jesus. The goal is always to be intentionally moving people closer to a fully-experienced relationship with Jesus.
Q: Why do the Apprenticeship Courses cost money?
A: Many people expect spiritual growth content to be free. After all, the Gospel is free. No one should charge for that. That's a fair question. It takes time, resources, and money to produce these courses, and to support the technology that allows them to be available here on this website. In addition, after years of experimentation, it has become plainly clear that people take learning much more seriously when they have invested financially in the process. However, the price set for each course is very low, often as low as $4.00 per lesson. That's an incredible deal, considering that it took hours and hours of time, research, and production to create each lesson.
Q: Should I buy individual courses or the Apprenticeship Lab Membership?
It depends on what you are looking for. These are two different ways to experience the online course material, with different benefits, and the Membership offers something more.
When you buy an individual course, It comes with these benefits:
- You pay a single flat fee with no future obligation.
- Low cost access to the course.
- Immediate access.
- Ideal for solo study at your own pace.
- Perfect when you're only interested in a single course.
The Apprenticeship Lab Membership is buying access to the entire Apprenticeship Lab experience, which includes access to all current and future courses, as well as other benefits.
- Pay a low monthly subscription fee.
- Lock in your rate. As the Apprenticeship Lab grows, the monthly subscription rate will probably increase, but it will never go up for you as long as you remain a member.
- Immediate access to all available courses, and all future courses with no additional cost.
- Full access for as long as you remain a member.
- Idea for an ongoing personal growth commitment.
- Membership Only: Access to a private Facebook Group for discussion, support, encouragement and accountability in your growth.
- Membership Only: Access other special member content, bonus material, and special events.
Q: Can I use Apprenticeship Lab courses with my small group?
A: Certain courses have been designed with groups in mind and this is indicated in the course description. Otherwise, the courses here have been designed for individual use. When you purchase access to a course, you are buying a license to experience the content for you and a partner. If you want to go through a course with a small group or some other kind of community, please contact us directly about group licensing.