Church & Home Leadership
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Great Leaders Are Great Teachers, Part One
Leaders must be effective teachers.

Clayton Porter, my wife Margaret's father, died in February. He was a wonderful, wonderful person—a great dad, and a great family man. He was a teacher his whole life and he did what he could while he was on this earth to add value to people's ...

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Great Leaders Are Great Teachers, Part Two
Eight more tips to teach more effectively.

As I've watched leaders communicate, what I have found is that they really teach effectively. Wrapping up our last lesson, below are the remaining eight tips that will help you to teach your people more effectively as their leader.

8. Teach from the heart. The ...

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Three Goals to Help You Teach Better
Three Goals to Help You Teach Better
A teacher's mental preparation.

Some college classes have prerequisites. In the church, I think there are prerequisites for teaching; not just the technical qualifications needed, but the attitudes necessary. I find that I teach better when I keep the three following goals fixed in ...

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Ask Questions Like the Master Teacher
Ask Questions Like the Master Teacher
8 types of questions Jesus used to produce change.

"Do you not yet understand?"
—Jesus (Matthew 8:21)

Whether in a public gathering, a confrontation with his enemies, or a private conversation with his closest friends, Jesus consistently used questions to produce change and growth. In the ...

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What Do I Want Students to Know, Feel, Do?
What Do I Want Students to Know, Feel, Do?
Teaching that effects change.

When I teach a class, I want to affect the whole person, not just the mind but also the heart, and not just the heart and mind but also the will. So as I prepare, I ask myself three questions.

1. What do I want them to know?

It never hurts to remind myself ...

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Spotting a New Leader
Ten ways to identify a promising person.

The most gifted athletes rarely make good coaches. The best violinist will not necessarily make the best conductor. Nor will the best teacher necessarily make the best head of the department.

So it's critical to distinguish between the skill of performance ...

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When Is a Broken Person Ready to Lead?
When Is a Broken Person Ready to Lead?
5 questions to determine whether the hurting are ready for responsibility.

A man who joined our fellowship came out of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Three months after his conversion, his daughter died. Then the woman he had been dating broke off their relationship.

If that weren't enough, his business collapsed; it's ...

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Preparing Yourself to Teach
I avoid Sunday morning meanderings by cultivating textual fluency, people fluency, and schedule fluency.

No one wants to blur or block the message of the Lord. Yet, sometimes on Sunday morning we climb into the pulpit or stand behind a lectern and, for any host of reasons, haltingly deliver an ill-prepared message or lead a Bible study that just goes nowhere. ...

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Recruiting and Keeping Teachers
Recruiting and Keeping Teachers
Recruiting is the holy act of helping others discover their gifts and discern God's will.

Some years ago I was responsible for recruiting someone to oversee a pastoral care program involving over 200 adults. It was a big job, and I was looking for a couple who could commit a great deal of time and energy to the program.

I prayed about this ...

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Knowing What to Teach, and How
Knowing what subject to teach and how to teach it can become less of a mystery and more of a ministry.

When I was on staff at Las Canada Presbyterian Church, a group of women said to me, "We want to do a small group Bible study, but we want more than a series of Bible lessons. Frankly, we get bored and turned off by that."

Since these women were from Hollywood, ...

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Home Bible Studies: What to Do with the Kids
Use these creative ideas to solve a perennial problem.

Many churches are enthusiastic about cell group meetings in homes, but parents with younger children face a crunch: Shall they hire a babysitter, or shall they bring their kids along and hope they behave during the adult interaction? Here's how two groups ...

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The Unique Task of Teaching Adults
The Unique Task of Teaching Adults
The heartbeat of the church is adults.

Some years ago, I knew a Christian attorney who was appointed by the church board to be chairman of the adult education program. He was perfectly willing to oversee the program. He was willing to teach. He was a good teacher. But he was completely unwilling ...

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Baby Lambs and Old Sheep
I have the same goal for both older and newer Christians: to make the language fresh, to make it come alive.

Becky, a new Christian in my Bible class, sparkles with enthusiasm even though she needs help to find Galatians: "Is that Old or New Testament?" she asks. I could tell her, "Jesus loves me, this I know," and she would be awed by the depth of my teaching. ...

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How Do You Know You're Effective?
Experience in teaching doesn't tend to sharpen my abilities; rather it dulls them. Evaluated experience improves my skills.

Most people think experience is the name of the game—that the longer a person teaches, the better he or she gets. Nonsense. Just as ripping through wood dulls the teeth of a carpenter's saw, so experience tends to wear away my edge. I have found ...

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Teaching That Motivates
Teaching That Motivates
Successful teaching not only opens the mind but also stirs the emotions, fires the imagination, galvanizes the will.

While milling around at conferences, I occasionally bump into pastors who say to me, "Prof, you once changed the whole course of my life."

"Fantastic!" I reply. "How did it happen?"

"Years ago in class you made one statement ...

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What Makes Christian Education Distinct
Secular education seeks to make more successful and intelligent people. The Christian educator aspires to nothing less than the transformation of a believer into the image of Christ.

I am convinced that Christian education, my field of ministry, is one of the highest of all callings. I've also become convinced that Christian educators need to keep reminding themselves of the unique role of Christian education.

All around us we see ...

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Training People to Teach
Training People to Teach
If Harvard cannot assume their professors can communicate, how much less can churches.

From the book Mastering Teaching.

A young woman, an award-winning interior designer, saw that her church needed a Sunday school teacher for one of the children's classes. She volunteered. They put curriculum in her hands and said, "If you can ...

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What to Do with the Classroom Rebel?
What to Do with the Classroom Rebel?
I'm glad God prompted me to see past John's defiant scowl.

I look up as John swaggers into my seventh-grade English class and shoves his man-sized body hard into his seat. He's back again—this time from a weeklong suspension for beating up a sixth-grader.

When the opening bell rings, I write an introductory ...

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Fall Planning
ChristianBibleStudies.com has everything you need for small groups and adult Sunday classes.

Many small-group leaders and adult Sunday school coordinators are scrambling at this time of year to find material to launch their ministries this fall. We have good news!

ChristianBibleStudies.com now has over 700 Bible studies to choose from. And instead ...

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Understanding Different Learning Styles
Understanding Different Learning Styles
Here's how to teach in the ways people learn best.

So much has been said in educational circles about people's different ways of perceiving reality. We're inundated with "right brain, left brain" jargon. We hear that some people think with their feelings, senses, and emotions; others ...

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