Creative exploration and communication of the Gospel

The value of creative approaches to teaching and learning is universally recognised in many spheres, not least in the church, but more opportunities are needed. It has been reported by educationalists that you only remember 10% of what you read, but 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 90% of what you do.

Parable Garden offers a fresh approach to teaching on the Kingdom of God through creative engagement with the parables, helping people to understand spiritual truths using everyday objects, relationships and processes.

God often models spiritual truth in the physical world. David the psalmist describes the whole earth reflecting his Glory (Psalm 72 v 19).Teaching through parables was common in Jewish culture and used by Rabbis. As history’s most creative communicator, many times Jesus used illustrations from nature and the language of farming in his teachings to awaken inquiry and to impress His truth upon people’s hearts. For example He spoke of birds and lilies in His Sermon on the Mount, soils, seeds, wheat and weeds in His parables, and then the vine and sheep in the Gospel of John 15.

weeding the garden

Jesus understood perfectly the power of creative communication and as Ellen G White in her book ‘Christ’s object lessons’, writes ‘looked for an avenue to every heart by using a variety of illustrations from everyday life’. His parables are important because they teach us about the Kingdom of God, His divine character and life. For example the well known ‘Parable of the Sower’ (four soils) is the best illustration to explain the spiritual condition of the human heart.

A parable garden can provide areas where people can join in seasonal activities including the process of recreating the parables through practical gardening. Areas might include a mini vineyard, apple orchard, beds of wheat and arable weeds, bed of lilies, bird tables and feeders. Excerpts from scripture can be positioned next to areas with parable inspired planting and features, so that links can easily be made.