Millennials and Meetings

Every generation creates a new set of prime values to uphold and live out. The millennial generation (born 1980-2000) is now coming to adulthood and leadership. Here are three brief observations about working and meeting with millennials:

1. Don’t waste their time: Millennials value action, productivity, and efficiency above all else. With instant information and communication, the world’s problems are always in their faces. They perceive “to much to do and too little time.” Make sure you have a clear plan of action for every meeting.

2. Embrace flexibility: Google Docs, Skype, the GroupMe app, Facetime, GoToMeeting… all these help to decentralize workplaces and meeting environments. They allow for mobile presence. They have, of course, some inherent dangers, but it’s fruitless to fight the inevitable. Utilize mobile meetings.

3. Always answer the WHY: Millennials want to belong to something bigger than themselves, to be part of a movement. Tap into that desire, and they will give their lives for the cause. You will need to make an extra effort to communicate “why” you are doing something, always pointing back to the foundational example of Jesus.

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Written by Austin Maxheimer (Director of Groups for One Life Church, Indiana & Western Kentucky)

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Seven Laws of the Teacher

This material is from Howard Hendricks, who taught for 52 years at Dallas Theological Seminary. The Seven Laws of the Teacher will help pastors, teachers, parents, small groups, become more effective in their teaching role. This information will renew your thinking about teaching and unleash your effectiveness as a communicator of biblical truth. Our goal is teaching with a life-changing impact.

  1. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 1 – Teacher
  2. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 2 – Education
  3. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 3 – Activity
  4. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 4 – Communication
  5. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 5 – Heart
  6. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 6 – Encouragement
  7. Seven Laws of the Teacher – Part 7 – Readiness

* Links go to the Discipleship Library website: www.DiscipleshipLibrary.com

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Seven Laws of the Learner

This material is from Bruce Wilkinson, the Walk Thru the Bible guy. In each of these seven sessions, the author will guide you through:

  • Mindset: an introducti0on to the law with a biblical passage to illustrate that law.
  • Model: a chart (in the workbook) clearly demonstrating the law and what it means.
  • Maxims: seven principles that explain the law.
  • Meaning: a brief definition of the law.
  • Method: ways to put the law into practice.
  • Maximizers: tips to use the each law more effectively.
  • Mastery: thought-provoking ideas to help you interact with the meaning of the law.
  • Memory: a walk thru of each law to help you remember the laws.

Listen and Learn:

  1. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 1 – Learner
  2. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 2 – Expectation
  3. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 3 – Application
  4. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 4 – Retention
  5. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 5 – Need
  6. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 6 – Equipping
  7. Seven Laws of the Learner – Part 7 – Revival

* Links go to the Discipleship Library website: www.DiscipleshipLibrary.com

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No More Facilitators

I just read this from Josh Hunt and had to pass it along!

I wish I had a nickle for every time I have heard this: “We don’t really need teachers; we need facilitators.”

I disagree.

  • Jesus said to, “Teach all nations” (Matthew 28.19). He didn’t say to facilitate discussions of all nations.
  • In the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-2) we read that Jesus began to teach them. We don’t ever read that He facilitated a discussion.
  • In Acts 2.42 we do not read that the early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ facilitation of discussion. We read they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching.
  • In 2 Timothy 2.2 Paul admonished Timothy to entrust the truth he had heard to reliable men so that they would be able to teach others. Teach—not facilitate discussions.

Perhaps it is time we defined our terms. Wikipedia defines a facilitator this way: A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion.

I draw your attention to that last phrase: “without taking a particular position in the discussion.” I can’t imagine Jesus ever doing that.

Paul said, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:11). Persuade. It sounds like he took a particular position as well.

This is not to say that we should not use a question-and-answer approach. Jesus did. We have 100 recorded examples of Jesus using questions to teach. But, when he asked questions, He had an agenda. He was teaching through using questions, not facilitating a discussion about who knows what.

When I write Good Questions Have Groups Talking, I don’t do it so that teachers can facilitate discussions. I do it so that teachers can teach using questions. There is a world of difference. We don’t need facilitators of discussion; we need teachers who teach.

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The Numbers Game

I have always been aware of numbers. Go to any gathering of ministers and the conversation always turns toward how many we have in our programs. Kent Hughes has a great resource I have valued for years, “Liberating Your Ministry from Success Syndrome.” While I understand the need for measurement, the question is, “what is the best way to do that?”

“Numbers. They’re the currency of ministry. The crowd has become the definition of ministry success.” — Thom Schultz

As an example on a local level, how many people attended your last Bible study or event? And how did you feel about that number? Probably one of two ways:

  1. Yea! More people showed up; we must be doing it right!
  2. Sigh…Not as many people as we wanted or expected came. What are we doing wrong?

Sound familiar? You invested a lot of time, energy, and emotion to create the opportunity for people to connect and grow in their faith. You prayed. You asked God for wisdom, guidance, and strength. You were excited for the vision he gave you and your ministry team.

Then, only 5 people showed up, or only 50, or only 200 instead of the 250 you had last time. The numbers fell short. You felt disappointed, discouraged, and perhaps even defeated.

That’s how numbers become the currency of ministry: high equals good, low equals bad. Most leaders don’t realize how often they measure success by crowd size instead of life transformation (changed lives).

How would Jesus measure success? “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father” (John 15:8). People are easy to count. Spiritual fruit is not. So after your next event, will you count quantity, or will you invest the time to measure quality? If the number was small, how where the people in the small group impacted?

In order to measure quality, count change, the true currency of ministry. If only one person showed up for your Bible study, would you be willing to laugh, cry, and share as God transforms that person’s life? One solitary life? Isn’t it time we got excited over a few who get it, a couple whose lives are changed, instead of the number of chairs we filled?

Practically: Ask the people impacted by your ministry leadership to share their stories. Make a file or ministry database filled with short testimonies to document how people’s lives were transformed through your ministry. Maybe start a Facebook page or blog to create opportunities for people to share.

Remember, the number in the crowd does not equal the success of your ministry. Even though Jesus had large crowds follow him, the people weren’t amazed because of the numbers. They were amazed at HIM. Measure the fruit of change in your ministry, and you’ll be amazed at Jesus, too!

[print_link] [email_link] [Thanks Linda Crawford and Group’s Women’s Ministry Leader]

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