By Stafford North

You are teaching a class that is very important to the future of the church. Out of this class may come an outstanding preacher, effective elders and deacons, fathers who will lead the spiritual life of their families more effectively, much needed personal workers. Here are a few suggestions to you on conducting the class.

  1. Using the materials that follow, plan your class sessions. Thinking about the students you will have, decide which experiences will be best for them at their stage of development. Determine how many class sessions you will have and decide which lesson you will teach in each of them. If you have, for example, only eight sessions with junior high boys, you will need to choose those topics that will work best for them. As indicated in the Table of Contents, eighteen lessons are recommended to cover the material provided. This allows some sessions for practice when no additional lessons are studied. The number in the class, however, will greatly affect how many class sessions you will need. The more in the class, the more time it takes to give them in-class experience. You could have an alternate time for some of the students to do their speaking if you have more students than can do their speaking in the time suggested.
  2. Not only do you need to select the lessons for each class, but you need to decide on what exercise you will have the students do in class each time. This will determine what assignment you give at the end of each lessons so students can prepare for the exercise at the next lesson.
  3. Your goal should be to have each student on his feet in each class session. If you have too many students to do this, work out some alternate plan but it is important for each student to have as many experiences of being on his feet as possible. Use the evaluation sheets, or your adaptation of them, for each of the speaking exercises. Encourage the students to check out the evaluation sheets as they prepare for their in-class presentation so they will identify things to work on.
  4. The outline given for each lesson is a guide for you as the teacher to follow. Obviously you will need to elaborate on points given and have the class discuss many of them. Adapt it as you need. Some of the lessons will need more than one class period to complete if you use all of the material. You will have to decide how much of the information given you want to use for your class.
  5. Before each set of student performances, be sure to go over the evaluation sheet so they will know what you will be looking for. This is part of the learning strategy. You may want to have someone else help you with the in-class evaluations so students will be evaluated by more than one person. Be sure the rest of the class listens well and provides a good audience for those who are speaking. They can learn from each other and all will do better if they have an attentive audience.
  6. Be sure each student feels rewarded for getting before the class. Use lots of praise and encouragement. You may even want to have some simple rewards for those who do well, pencils or pens or some other simple reward. Find something for which you can praise each student every time they are before the class. While you will make suggestions for improvement, these must be coupled with encouragement and praise. Jesus condemned to outer darkness the man who was afraid to use his “talent.” We must use those gifts, abilities, and opportunities the Lord has given us. This workbook is designed for those who sincerely wish to use themselves in the Lord’s service but who need additional training to reach their potential. This course of leadership training is based on certain basic principles which need to be clear from the start:

  1. We learn by doing.
  2. We learn to do something well by doing it right.
  3. We do it right through proper instruction combined with practice and constructive suggestions. The two basic parts of this course, then, are (1) the theory of how to lead in various basic leadership activities such as praying, singing, or speaking, and (2) an opportunity to practice each with constructive suggestions. Like half a wheel, neither of these would be of much value without the other. For this reason you will be asked to appear before the class almost every time the group meets, and with every appearance you will be attempting to practice some fundamental principles about which you have studied. Many of the exercises will be very simple, but they have a definite goal and should not be passed by. Your instructor will always make clear to you just what each appearance is to accomplish and if you will look over the check sheet you give him before each exercise, you will know exactly what he will be looking for. You will be pleased with the progress you can make in just a few weeks of study. May the Lord bless you in this undertaking and may you become a better servant of His.

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