Posted: 3/14/17 at 1:45pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
Many churches have wonderful teachers/small group leaders who are passionate in their calling. Every teacher/leader, however, can be encouraged to be even more effective.
Here are some ideas:
- How often do you state the vision for teachers and small group leaders about their part in discipleship/spiritual formation? I have shared many times before that Sunday School and small groups get their “why” from the Great Commandment (loving God and neighbor), as well as the Great Commission (make disciples.) I believe that these individuals need the reminder that they are missionaries and disciple-makers on a regular basis. I highlight three components to the vision from Mike Breen and Steve Cockram’s book, Building a Discipling Culture, in their chapter about deeper relationships on UP, IN, & OUT.
From Luke 6:12-19:
UP: Verse 12- Jesus spent many hours with his Heavenly Father. How much more should we?
IN: Verses 13-16- Jesus called a group to invest in/mentor/disciple. He was intentional, and we must be as well in our Sunday School/small groups.
OUT: Verses 17-19- Jesus immediately took them down the mountain to minister to the least, last, and lost.
- UP: How are you providing resources for your teachers/small group leaders to keep growing in Christ? There are some churches providing commentaries, book studies, and curriculum in a room at the church specifically for them to come and check out options for their growth as well as other options to teach. Some are providing daily devotionals or Bible readings for the entire church. Some use Lent and Advent to provide devotional readings each day.
- IN: How are you caring for your teachers? The Sunday School director or staff member should check on the teaching staff on a regular basis in several ways: Show appreciation. Ask how to pray for them. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
- IN: How are you helping the teacher organize to care for everyone in their class/group? Teachers cannot do it all. Care groups help the teacher know how each person is doing. Set up care group leaders, and in turn, the teacher is responsible to care for those leaders. (Send me a request, and I will send documents about care groups: firstname.lastname@example.org )
- OUT: How are you encouraging groups to serve outside the church walls? Every group (youth through adults) should have an ongoing service project. Many spiritual lessons and much community building happens when people serve together.
- IN: How are you providing training for your teachers? Every teacher needs ongoing training. We provide webinars and in-person training on many areas from age-graded to specific areas like creative teaching methods through learning approaches. Let me know what type of training your church needs.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 NIV)