5 training tips for 5 common word ministries
What common church ministries prayerfully teach God’s word? And, as we kick off another year, what simple training can we do to boost the effectiveness of these ministries?
I can think of four fairly obvious ministries, and one that is often overlooked. The four obvious ones are:
- Sunday preaching
- Bible study groups
- Children’s ministry
- Youth ministry
And often overlooked is:
- Sunday Bible reading
Here are my easy training suggestions for each of these ministry areas (plus an extra incentive to get started).
Sunday Bible reading
This is the overlooked ministry because it is so brief: typically just five minutes or so a week. But the public reading of Scripture is a key word ministry both practically and symbolically. Indeed, it’s something we’re supposed to be “devoted” to (1 Tim 4:13). Matthias Media’s video-based Reading the Bible Aloud course helps raise the expectations and skills of your public readers—but not beyond what is realistically achievable and sustainable. The course is designed to help people read God's word with expression, clarity and conviction. Maybe it should be a prerequisite for those on your Bible reading roster?
The people doing the Sunday preaching are generally the most highly trained word ministers in our churches, so I’m not going to spend much time on this area. If you do need some extra help as a preacher, read Saving Eutychus. As Don Carson says: "Many books on preaching are published every year; this one is a must”.
Bible study groups
The heart of leading a home Bible study group well is clearly knowing what your job is as the leader, which means having great clarity about the disciple-making purpose of your group. The Small Group and the Vine is a video-based training course which provides foundational training for new leaders, or an excellent ‘refresh’ for more experienced leaders. It’s the course that applies The Trellis and the Vine thinking directly to small groups.
If you think preaching requires lots of training, you should try teaching the Bible to preschoolers week after week! You not only need to understand the Bible well enough to simplify it (without distorting it), you also need to understand the kids and their learning abilities at different ages plus manage their interest and behaviour both as individuals and as a group. Their God is so Big is the manual that helps your kids ministry leaders do all that. We’re out of this book right at the moment (sorry), but you can buy and download a PDF.
No Guts, No Glory was written twenty years before The Trellis and the Vine, but it has exactly the same disciple-making DNA and is still as relevant as ever. Its focus is developing youth leaders who will make disciples of Christ. Although it’s an ebook for youth leaders to read, the discussion questions for each chapter make it a great training tool for them to work through together as a group.
So there you have it: five training resources for five key areas of church word-life.
To encourage you to take advantage of these resources, I’ve arranged for a 20% discount to apply until the end of January 2020 in our online store (plus the normal quantity discounts).
Have a great start to the ministry year!