8 Things Teachers Must Have to Double Every Two Years or Less
From my inbox. . .
Josh, I am interim Minister of Education at First Baptist Church, Katy. One Sunday, I went by an adult classroom – it was vacant with a sign & cell phone number on the door. Instead of a lesson on evangelism, they decided to go out & experience it. They went to the local Wal-Mart and handed out tracts! As we are trying to create a more outward focus at First Baptist Katy, I created the Rice Krispie Treat Award. (Katy has many rice paddies in the area and the tallest structure in town is the rice dryer!) We presented the class with Rice Krispie Treats and wrote up the award in the church newsletter.
Encouraging the Heart, a business book, has wonderful guidelines on how to appreciate someone. I am recommending it to all Ministers of Education and Pastors I work with.
Thanks for the encouragement!!! I LOVE your newsletter!
Union Baptist Association,
This note will fit well into a new book I am working on entitled, 8 Things Teachers Must Have From Their Pastor and Staff in order to Double. Send me your ideas! I love to hear from you.
What are these 8 things? Here is a summary that spells out the word GASOLINE. (Get it? Put a TIGER in your tank with GASOLINE. OK, a bit of a stretch.) I have a video version of this material and have recently released an audio cassette version. It is also downloadable in MP3 format.
Give them a dream. We must embrace the vision, express the vision, embody the vision, and evaluate against the vision. If we ask them to teach, we get teaching. We need to ask them to help turn the world upside down.
Ask them to help. Who we ask to help is more important than how we train them. Training is over-rated. I will show you why. Selection is under-rated.
Show them how. I was told for years to have a weekly workers meeting. It was poorly attended. I want to show you some better ways.
Organize the overall affairs of the church. Do you know what really keeps churches from growing? It is not what you think. As much as possible, we need to organize to the “WOW!” level.
Love them silly. Loved people love people. What we give them, they give to others. If we love them in common, ordinary, pedestrian ways, they will love others and double their classes in two years or less.
Incubate new groups. I am predicting this may be the most helpful chapter in the book. We will unpack ten proven ways to start new groups and keep your job.
Notice what is working. Jesus taught that we must never tinker with the wine, but must always be tinkering with the wine skin. The unchanging gospel must continually be poured into new, flexible wineskins.
Exemplify what you want to see happen. Bluntly, they don’t because we don’t. If we want laymen to double a class every two years or less, the staff must be helping groups double every two years or less.
Here is a section from what I was working on this morning under the first section, "Give Them a Dream"
How to give them a dream
When the Bible tells us to feed the poor, it doesn’t give us the recipe for the soup. God loves variety. I love the words of Rick Warren, “It takes all kind of churches to reach all kinds of people.” Purpose-driven churches and people who don’t like purpose-driven churches (trust me, they are out there) can join together to advance the kingdom.
About the advancement of the kingdom, we don’t have a choice. We can decide whether God would have us to be worship-driven or seeker-driven, but in either case we are to advance the kingdom.
Normally, advancing the kingdom results in measurable growth that you can plot on a graph. Let me go out on a limb here.
Normally, advancing the kingdom results in measurable growth that you can plot on a graph. There are exceptions. There are rural areas where the growth is limited. There are seasons of spiritual restoration where we concentrate on issues other than growth. There are areas where the population is shrinking and a numerical plateau is a victory.
Still, this does not take away from the fact that normally, the advancement of the kingdom results in measurable growth that you can plot on a graph.
We must grapple with the fact that the graph of church attendance in America for the past generation is a flat-line. In my mind, it is a picture of corporate disobedience on our part. I ask you to join me in a posture of corporate repentance.
Repentance suggests we will change. We will do something different in the future than we have done in the past. We will take responsibility for our part of the work, and do all we can to join hands with others to help advance the kingdom together.
Somewhere along the line, someone will accuse you of following your ego, or they will say this is impossible or give some other reason why we should not pursue numerical growth. When this happens, I suggest you consider these five steps to giving them a dream.
Rooted in the Word
The pastor must say over and over, “The Bible says. . . that is why we are doing this.” Write it down; many will be opposed to the growth of the group.
I was in a group recently where we were discussing a the purpose of an organization. One person spoke up and emphatically said, “I don’t need to do outreach. I just need fellowship.” We need to say over and over and over again, “Yes, but what does the Bible say?”
What does the Bible say? Here are a few of my favorite verses. First, the most common word that Jesus used for the people of God is “the kingdom.” He did not speak so much about a church as he spoke about the kingdom. We don’t have a word that closely parallels this word in our culture. The closest we can get is the word “country.” But, our concept of a country is to mind its own business, protect its borders, and take care of its own. Not so a kingdom.
The role of a kingdom was to advance. It was to take over. This is seen clearly in Matthew 11:12, “The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”
This is what kingdoms do, they take over. Alexander the Great and the Greek kingdom rolled through and took over. Then the Roman kingdom rolled through and took over. This is what kingdoms did. When Jesus spoke of the kingdom, people expected a political kingdom. He did not mean a political kingdom but he did mean a kingdom.
Jesus taught that the kingdom is like a mustard seed. It starts out little bitty and grows to be really big. (Luke 13:19) It is like a little bit of yeast that in time grows and permeates the whole batch of dough. (Luke 13.21) If we are entering Christ’s kingdom, we don’t have any choice as to whether or not we want to grow. The kingdom is like a seed and like yeast–it grows.
Jesus told us, in the form of a command, to go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19) It is impossible to be obedient to His command and not see the church grow. Perhaps not impossible. In a situation where the population is declining we might not see numerical growth. There can be seasons where a church might need to work on internal matters for a season. But, the normal thing for a normal church under normal circumstances is to grow.
In Acts we read that “the number of disciples increased rapidly.” (Acts 6:7) Paul prayed that the message of the Lord would spread rapidly. (2 Thessalonians 3:1) I wish I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say, “I believe in slow, steady growth because I believe that slow, steady growth is healthy growth.” That makes sense to me. It is just not what the Bible says. The example of the Bible is to pray that the gospel would spread rapidly. Not slowly; rapidly.
The vision needs to be rooted in the Word of God. Over and over we need to say to the people, “The Bible says. . . that is why we want to grow this church.”