Getting Everyone on the Same Page


Imagine if everyone would be on the same page in terms of our overall goal! When we work as a coordinated whole, we tend to see more growth in that direction. People with varying spiritual gifts and ministry positions bring different perspectives, or aspects, to the same objective. When presented in different ways and a variety of settings, these priorities keep getting reinforced leading to a greater potential of becoming a reality. — So, the question becomes, “What is the page everyone should get on?”.

The Same Page We All Should Be On

Aim for Changed Lives as New Creations
Our overall goal should reflect God’s big picture. His primary objective is that we become lovers of God and people (Matt. 22:37-40) who walk in the light as He is in the light (1 Jn. 1:7) becoming more and more conformed to our Lord Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:14-16). Getting there is a growth process (Col. 1:9-12; 2 Pet. 3:18) wherein we constantly change …

  • becoming less and less lovers of self to lovers of God and others,
  • moving out of darkness and into His glorious light,
  • conforming less and less with the world and more and more into Christlikeness.

So, the page we need to get everyone on is that of seeing changed lives so we become more fully devoted followers and lovers of God.

The Network Needed to Increase the Potential for Changed Lives

God’s intent is that everyone has a part in the process. He wants us to “all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” so we’re not “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming”. As we speak “the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:13-16)

While teachers do have a major role, teaching for changed lives, they need a network of support beginning with leadership on through parents, teacher’s helpers, and any other believers involved in their students’ sphere of influence.

Bible teachers must keep the goal of changed lives ever before them. We help our students not only gain knowledge but true understanding that leads to change. We must keep coming back to this goal. A good starting point could be the Teaching for Changed Lives Workbook available from Ministry Tools Resource Center.

Teacher’s helpers must understand their role in working toward that goal. Teacher training efforts must keep bringing them back to this goal as well so their actions, words, and attitudes model and reinforce the overall goal.

Leaders are responsible to train teachers toward this goal but also provide structures, budgets, and other tools to assist in this process. The entire leadership team should be on the same page, which will in turn reinforce it in teachers. Check out this resource: Christian Education Leadership Team Training

Parents need to view the Christian education ministry of the church as a supplement to their primary role as disciplers, not a substitute. The church can help them understand their role. For Resources, go to: Biblical Parenting Resources

What part might you have in helping people experience changed lives?


What are Teachers’ Needs for Training?


How easy it is to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to teacher training. Yet, the help one teacher needs may not benefit another. We may also be prone to choosing topics we think would be helpful but aren’t what teachers struggle with the most. Taking time to learn more about individual teachers and their needs will help us provide teacher training that can truly equip them to become better teachers because it’s relevant to them and best fits their situation.

What We Need to Learn That Will Help Us Identify a Teacher’s Needs

To provide training tailored to the teachers themselves, we need to identify:

Topics of Greatest Need
Greatest Deterrents in Teaching

But, their training needs aren’t just about skill development. To be most beneficial we must also consider:

Preferences for Means of Teacher Training
Time Preferences for Teacher Training

How to Identify Training Needs of Bible Teachers

Sometimes it is as simple as asking. Other times we might need to use guiding questions. We can identify needs using one or more of the following means:

  • teacher surveys
  • student surveys
  • one-on-one consultation
  • observation/evaluation

Teacher Training Module to Help Identify Needs
You’ll find a survey in the Teacher Training Module which is part of the Christian Education Files Resource. This module can also be ordered separately.


Using Ministry Job Descriptions for Teacher Training


We often think of job descriptions, also known as ministry descriptions in the Church, for recruitment purposes to let people know their responsibilities. But, ministry job descriptions can also be effective for evaluative and accountability purposes. Used accordingly, they can also be a good tool for teacher training.

4 Ways Ministry Job Descriptions Can be Used for Teacher Training

We don’t have to get stuck in a rut with the way we approach teacher training. Let’s use whatever tools may be at our disposal, like ministry job descriptions.

  1. Go over the ministry description with new teachers, line by line, to determine where they most need help and then tailor pre-service training to their specific needs.
  1. Distribute a copy of the ministry description for all teachers to evaluate their teaching in light of these expectations, perhaps including a scale on which they can rank themselves in each area. Provide training for individuals where they ranked themselves the lowest.
  1. Part of the way through the teaching year, observe teachers in action and later sit down in private consultation with them. Use the job description as an assessment tool to review how you perceive they are doing in accomplishing the various responsibilities and what kind of training you believe could help them.
  1. Use the broad responsibilities listed in the ministry as an outline or framework around which to build an on-going teacher training plan during teachers’ meetings.

Perhaps you don’t have ministry job descriptions developed for your teachers. Or, perhaps you need to review and revise outdated ones. Here are some helps in the site that could be of help: Church Ministry Job Descriptions Resources


What’s the Purpose?


The title of this post asks a broad question. — What’s the purpose? Years ago, when beginning this blog, I asked the same question. Though blogs appeared to be the wave of the Internet, certainly the required time and energy demanded a higher purpose.

What's the Purpose of Ministry Training?The overall purpose of Ministry Tools Resource Center is to equip believers for ministry. So, in light of Ephesians 4:11-16, the Train Bible Teachers Blog primarily exists for these reasons:

  • to exhort churches to honor God in their teaching ministries by effectively training teachers
  • to encourage churches to develop a teacher training plan tailored to the needs of their teachers
  • to equip Bible teachers to teach in ways that lead to changed lives
  • to engage Bible teachers in examining their teaching in light of God’s heart and ways

Why Purpose Matters

Being purposeful guides what we do. For example, because of the purpose for this blog, posts written for it provide administrative helps for a teacher training plan, point to the overall objectives and biblical perspectives in teaching God’s Word, address issues related to teaching, emphasize qualities, roles, and skills needed in effective Bible teachers, and offer suggestions about teaching various topics.

When driven by a purpose, we have less of a tendency to waste time doing that which is less essential. It keeps us from getting off track.

Are You Engaged in Purposeful Ministry?

If you oversee the Christian education ministry at your church, ask these questions. — What’s the overall purpose of the Christian education ministry? What’s the purpose for my role in overseeing this ministry?

Or, if you teach a Sunday School class or other type of Bible class, ask these questions. — Why am I teaching? What should be happening in the lives of my students as a result?

Asking questions about our purpose is very important because if we don’t have a high enough purpose, we won’t tend to have a passion for it or the people we serve. Without motivation, we won’t tend to invest the time and effort into it that Bible teaching deserves. And, we’ll find it difficult to persevere in it, particularly when it gets tough or we have outside pressures.