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Equipping for Lasting Leadership

One of the main goals of the Center for Christian Studies is to equip church leaders, and one of the ways we do this is through in-person seminars and retreats.  That is, in addition to our topical seminars (on subjects like biblical books, sexual ethics, Christians and politics, and many more), we conduct a variety of events aimed at enriching the knowledge and skills of Christian leaders.

Two recent events are cases in point.

The first relates directly to the church’s teaching ministry, which is, arguably, the most important ministry of the church.  In January, at the Bentonville Church of Christ, we had over 50 in attendance for a three-hour Saturday morning seminar on teaching adult Bible classes.  In this seminar, we discussed the foundations of teaching and examined biblical principles, and then we got into the practical nuts and bolts of teaching Bible classes.

Even for those who are not regular adult Sunday school teachers, the discussions and resources are easily adaptable to youth and children’s classes, as well as to one-on-one and other teaching settings.

Second, in February, I was joined by Steve Cloer and Jim Martin, both of Harding School of Theology, for the elders and ministers retreat with the West Side Church of Christ in Searcy.  This is the second year in a row that we have met with the West Side leaders for this retreat.  This year, we took a deeper dive with the shepherds and ministers, laying the foundations toward greater team building and trust building.  The three presentations were each supplemented with breakout discussions and exercises that put the principles of building trust and relationship into practice.

After describing this retreat weekend to another preacher friend of mine, he immediately exclaimed, “That’s exactly what our church leaders need!”  And he’s right.  I suspect most elder-minister leadership teams would benefit from a retreat like this.

In every job, minimal knowledge and training are assumed or provided by the employer.  And in nearly every profession, continuing education and enrichment are required and usually provided.

Yet, in the church, we often ask willing folks to teach but fail to provide them with any help or equipping.  We appoint willing folks to minister and lead but later wonder why they seem disenchanted or burned out.

Check out some of the in-person events that the Center for Christian Studies facilitates in order to enrich, encourage, and equip teachers, elders, and ministers for service in their congregations.  And contact us to learn more about how CCS can come alongside and help, or to schedule a seminar or workshop.


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