Over the weekend, I had the privilege to work with the Sunday School leaders of Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Ashland, Kentucky. The weekend was a mini Sunday School revival. It included teacher appreciation, challenge, training, and a Sunday morning walk through to evaluate facilities and areas needing improvement.
On Saturday morning, we met for four hours (minus large group opening and break time) to work through 3 Roles for Guiding Groups by David Francis and Ken Braddy. The three roles are teacher guiding the group’s Bible study, shepherd guiding the group’s care, and leader guiding the group’s mission. Most of those attending had received and read the book in advance.
We spent a little less than half the time on the teacher role. An emphasis was on group involvement in the teaching-learning experience. We spent time discussing Jesus’ example, relationships with God and group members, and the importance of addressing group learning styles in the teaching methods we choose.
After our break, we moved to focus on the shepherd and leader roles. I helped them identify their strongest role and the role they felt they were neglecting or least comfortable. I helped them consider those in their groups who could help them to carry out those roles. We talked about mobilizing the group to shepherd, to care for the needs of the group. We spent time talking about making contacts and some stumbling blocks for shepherding care.
As we moved toward closing, we shifted attention to the role of the leader guiding the group’s mission. That naturally led to talking about the what the mission is for our groups. (This subject by itself is worthy of time and attention in most of our groups.) We also considered three ruts for the leader role: closed groups, bigger groups, and only focusing on active members. We finished by talking about leader discovery and development and the need for more groups. I emphasized sending out teams of two or more rather than splitting a class.
Why did I share my weekend experience? There are two reasons. First, I believe these topics are very relevant and much needed for our teachers. The Rose Hill preschool and children’s leaders also had a great training time using this material. Second, I want to recommend you read and gather a group of leaders to talk about these three critical roles. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!