Chapter 2 “Discuss Problems”
This is generally an area that most people don’t want to discuss, not only in church, but in their personal lives as well. Why is that? Often people do not want to upset others or be seen as someone who rocks the boat, gets involved with conflict and/or is ostracized by the people who love and respect them. However, if we look at the life of our perfect role model, our Lord Jesus Christ, we should feel very differently about this.
Did Jesus upset others? Absolutely! Look at the impact He had on the religious leaders of His day. He made them so angry that they conspired with their Roman enemies to have Him killed. Did Jesus rock the boat? Definitely! He gave us so many ways to look at things than had ever been expressed before. He’s the One who said whoever is to be greatest must be the servant of all. He’s the One who welcomed the weakest people of His time into fellowship with Him such as women, children, foreigners, the sick and the poor.
Chapter 4 “The Purpose Is to Change Not Just Know”
When people become so focused on teaching lessons rather than teaching students, churches can become places where lessons are delivered, but no real change comes about. Every pastor and Christian should have a desire to become more like Christ and to have the members of the church change for the better. Over the years I have taught several teacher training classes to prospective Sunday School teachers. One of the books I utilized in the course is called, Teaching to Change Lives by Dr. Howard Hendricks which emphasizes the importance of having a clear purpose and an expectation that students can and will change.
When teachers or pastors spend most of their time just sharing information rather than teaching how the gospel can and will change your life, the person rarely changes. If your church’s education ministry has no real focus or expectation for change then your church has a problem. Jesus did not tell us to go and teach in order for people to know only what people should do, but for the knowledge to make a difference. When individuals do not feel they will benefit from attending an optional ministry like being a student in a class they are less apt to attend. Over ten years ago I led a teacher-training workshop and shared the fact that what you’re teaching should be relevant to your students. When I presented this same topic to teachers who were unable to attend the initial workshop there was one teacher who felt that teaching did not have to be relevant and that students should just come and listen to her. Needless to say with this attitude, year after year fewer and fewer of her students would attend her Sunday School class.
Chapter 17 “Encourage Others”
When people let you know that they appreciate you, are thinking about you, have missed seeing you, just finished talking about you or were planning to visit you, how does that make you feel? If you’re like most people, these statements bring positive thoughts to your mind. As a pastor or ministry leader, please encourage other people so that they can have some of these feelings expressed. When an individual is encouraged, they are more apt to encourage others when they need it. Everyone appreciates getting encouragement whether they are young or old, male or female, black or white, red or yellow. Throughout the Bible, the apostle Paul encouraged the saints to do what the Lord wanted them to do. Sometimes they had not followed what He had taught them, and they needed a reminder in his letter of encouragement.
When a ministry leader encourages a believer, it can impact that person in a variety of ways: