Resources to grow as Disciples
We travel through life, learning things along the way but unless we are trained educators, we are not really taught how to teach. For most of us, the only experience we have to draw on is our own. Research continues to show us that people learn in many different ways. If we don’t learn how to teach in a variety of ways, or have different teachers involved in our children’s lives, then we may miss out on potentially teachable moments. We are called to go and baptize, so we need a plethora of options ready to go in our back pockets. Some of us have natural teaching skills, while some of us are naturally bigger thinkers. What we all share is the ability to grow as leaders and teachers. LEAD has a great one-day learning opportunity coming up on August 16 to help with just that.
For congregations without children on the membership roster, this is a missional call to “go make disciples.” For congregations that have young people, this is a sacramental call to live out the promises made at baptism. Equipping families to nurture faith in the home is number one. The August Best Practices in Faith Formation event is an opportunity for congregations who want to train Sunday school teachers, confirmation mentors and others who are involved in faith formation. Experienced leaders from around the synod will share their knowledge, skills and resources on a wide variety of topics. The workshops are designed to increase capacity and strengthen the faith & baptismal promises of those who attend. This event will equip people who want to teach, but haven’t done so yet because they do not feel they know where to begin.
When something is really important to us, we take time to tend to it; whether that is our family, an object/possession, etc. We say our faith is important to us, but can others see this in how we live our lives? Do they see our faith displayed in our actions toward other people or by the language we use to articulate what is important to us? Research indicates that people make lifelong decisions about their faith life before they are 18 years old and that parents and grandparents are the primary influencers of the faith. This means that congregations must help parents and grandparents carry out their ministry in the home. In addition, all the adults in the congregation need to understand their part as influencers of the faith. We need to be mentoring youth into leadership. Without an invitation to do things that matter, they won’t stay.
Jesus’ relationship with God was so important that he took time away to actually stop and teach the disciples. In Jesus’ day, this was the most effective teaching method available. What is most effective today? I can tell you it is definitely not one person standing in front lecturing everybody else. Instead, the most effective teaching method is living what you believe and thereby modeling your beliefs for others. We know that faith is caught more than taught, so where is the most effective teaching happening in your home today? In Matthew 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teaching his committed followers. He is not spending time with those who did not know him, he was teaching those in his inner circle. He was coaching those who already believed in him and were followers. Jesus was telling them that it is not all about them.
By listening to the real needs in their communities, congregations can invest in young people and their families in many different ways. It is impossible to be a growing congregation without a ministry to people in the first third of life. At Best Practices in Faith Formation, the day is dedicated to our Baptismal promises. Join us on August 16 at Faith in Bellaire for worship, and vision casting with leaders who, like you, are influencing others. Attend three different workshops of your choice and leave challenged, inspired, and equipped with the resources you need to make a difference in your congregation and community.
Sign up to join us right away!