Ideas for Impact
What kinds of churches can we become?
I've asked this question many times and usually get a similar answer. "Of all the things that helped you to grow spiritually the first few years you began to follow Christ, what were the top two?" The usual answers:
1. "A person who spent personal time with me to encourage, mentor and coach me. It was more than being in a class. It was a teacher, a youth pastor or some other friend who took time outside of a class to talk and listen."
2. "The times when I was actively involved. Instead of just sitting in a class and listening, I was involved in doing something - I served, I memorized, I read, I discussed, I served food at a homeless shelter, I built shelters in a third-world country, I visited a prison, I taught a children's class, I prayed for someone or I told my story of how God is working in me."
There are so many conferences, workshops, seminars, books and other training opportunities and they give so much information! Lots of great ideas! The challenge to me is ... can I condense the things I heard over several hours or days into a few things I can begin to do differently. In 2016 and 2017 our Association interns had the opportunity to lead a youth group Bible study for Middle and High School students at a local church for several months. We were interested - would the new ways of teaching the interns were learning be accepted and would it be more effective (as far as we could tell)?
1. Sit in a circle so we can see each other? - yes, interaction increased
2. Break the large group of 25 students into 4 smaller groups - yes, better participation
3. After the lecture part, have 6 or 8 discussion questions - yes, students liked it
4. Give every student the chance to share prayer requests and be prayed for - yes
5. Were new leaders attracted to come help? - yes
6. Did every student get a chance to read the scripture and make comments? - yes
7. Did students ask questions they were wondering about from the Bible? - yes
8. Did we get several people involved in creating discussion questions each week? yes
9. Were students stretched in their thinking, did they search to find answers? - yes
10. Did students and teachers say they liked discussion better than lecture? - yes
11. Did we involve more leaders and give them leadership training? - yes