This website is not navigatable via keyboard. We apologize, and we will seek to address these accessibility issues. Please email or call 1300 051 220 in the meantime; we can provide files to vision-impaired customers that are not generally available.

5 training tips for 5 common word ministries

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

Reading the Bible AloudThis 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?


Saving EutychusThe 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 Small Group and the VineThe 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.

Children’s ministry

Their God is so BigIf 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.

Youth ministry

No Guts No GloryNo 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!

Ian Carmichael

Ian has been with Matthias Media from its beginning (1988). In late 2020 he stepped down from the CEO role, and now works as an honourary consultant and editor for Matthias Media and Vinegrowers. Ian and his wife, Stephanie, have two adult children, two (gorgeous) grandchildren, and are part of Chatswood Presbyterian church in Sydney. Ian is one of the Vinegrowers team providing free consultations for church leaders who want to more effectively grow the disciple-making culture in their church.