Discipleship

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Contents

Select Subjects

Subjects designed to develop leadership and discipleship must be carefully selected and crafted toward that end. The spiritual development of the individual is the primary concern. A scale guide for measuring spiritual development was developed by Engle and by Primrose and summarized in The Engel-Primrose Assessment of Spiritual Growth.

100-400 Classification

As a student is evolving through discipleship development it is obvious that different levels of difficulty or challenge will be encountered. We have selected the college-level nomenclature of 100-level courses being used for entry-level or freshman level of difficulty, and 400-level being of advanced or senior-level difficulty.The Engle-Primrose scale of personal development lists some seven steps leading to conversion and baptism (Evangelism) and about 14 steps leading from baptism (Development) complying with Matt. 28:19-20 (The Great Commission) which tells us after we "Go" we are to make disciples (Evangelism), baptize, and make teachers (Development). If we take the 14 steps leading from baptism on the Engle-Primrose scale we might put them into the following sequence: You will note that the numbers on some of the headings correspond with the number of that step on the Engle-Primrose scale. Those without numbers were not on the scale.


‘’’Discipleship Development’’’
100 200 300 400
10. Prayer Time 15. Intersession
3. Pray 6. Give Thanks 9. Praise
Seek Holy Spirit 13. Worship
7. Store God's Word 8. Testify 12. Serve 14. Develop Gifts
4. Seeks Fellowship
5. Tithe 11. Offerings


Progressive Training

As a student evolves their training evolves, going from the easier to the more difficult.

Progressive Content

The content of each course becomes more difficult and challenging as the student progresses from entry-level to the more advanced levels. Each course has the right, even the expectation to build upon the complexity and content of prerequisite courses.

Course Development

Once course areas have been identified as necessary for the development of discipleship each course must have a direction or mission of why it is to be taught (its mission), of what it purposes to accomplish (its objective), and a clear map of how it proposes to get there (its Syllabus)

Mission Statement

Each course should have a clear statement of why it is being taught, or included in the development sequence. It should have a clear statement of mission.

Objectives

Each course should have a clear statement of what it expects to accomplish, or its objectives.

Syllabus

A syllabus then becomes a road-map of how you get to your objectives from where you are upon entry. A syllabus should be shared with the student at the start of the class.

Evaluation

No teaching effort would be complete without some form of evaluation. Evaluation can be from any one; a colleague, a coach, a superior, or even from the student. Evaluation should be non-threatening and should be used by the teacher to improve their next effort.

Recruit Teachers

For a volunteer effort it is necessary to seek out teachers. The importance of the mission will often be apparent and will solicit a following.

Reputation

Often a decision is made on who the next teacher should be based upon the reputation of the teacher. How well did they do in other classes? How effective were they in producing change in the lives of their students.

Nomination/recommendation

One way to identify teaching ability is through the nomination and recommendation by others, or also through developing a relationship with them and observing them in action.

Interest/willingness

Just because a person is interested in teaching a subject does not that they will be a good teacher--but if there is no interest present they for sure will not do well as a teacher. Therefore it is essential to evaluate the interest level of a potential teacher as an important and desirable element. If they are not willing and have no desire, then you have no teacher.

Train Teachers

No teacher I know has ever come to the table with all of the preparation that they feel that they need. It therefore becomes necessary to provide additional training for the teacher.

Facilitation

The art of facilitation is vastly different from just speaking more slowly and emphatically. It is the art of enticing the student to discover for themselves, of directing discussion so that class moves in the direction that the syllabus defines, and of making learning happen without just 'talking' about what is needed. It is a difficult skill to learn, but is a very powerful method of dispensing instruction.

Implement the Syllabus

Once the mission has been agreed upon, and the objectives are clear, a syllabus is prepared as a map of how to get there. The syllabus should be followed. That does not mean that small deviations are not permissible or even desirable, but it is necessary to follow the map. Blessed is the one who does not know where they are going--because any road will lead them there. And no results will follow.

Ministry

Make no mistake, teaching is a ministry, and should be sought prayerfully, only if that is your calling.

Technology for Teaching

The technology that is available to the teacher for making change happen in the life of a student has been evolving at a fairly rapid rate over the past few years. The compilation that follows is not an exhaustive listing, but does cover some very important tools available, and should be carefully considered.

E-mail Use

The use of the internet and particularly e-mail has enhanced the classroom experience. I am aware of faculty who early on purposed for two student interactions between each meeting of the class using the e-mail. The students in your class can be clumped into one heading so that a common e-mail can be sent to all, in addition to being able to contact each student individually.

Power Point

The use of Power Point from Microsoft Power PointOffice or its equivalent in OpenOffice Open Office makes for powerful presentations. The teacher needs a monitor to be hooked to their computer, or for a projector that can project onto a screen. There may be others, but the difference between these is that one is free.

Electronic References

There are many electronic aids for a teacher. Many ministers use various forms of the Bible on a CD, ie Logos, Bible CD, etc. PowerBible has 25 different Bible translations, 25 commentaries, 21 topical references and 6 dictionaries. It is comparatively inexpensive. E-sword[1] has quite a few Bibles many in foreign languages and can be downloaded for nothing. We estimated that PowerBible had upwards of 38 feet of references on one CD, has interfacing software so that verses can be copied directly into a word processor and is available for a very nominal fee. Any teacher with a computer should have such an aid and know how to use it.

The Internet and Wikipedia

The internet provides a rich source of information and helps and should be used to supplement course content as much as possible. Project Gutenberg [2] has for years supplied the classics and well-known works just for downloading. Wikipedia is an on-line encyclopedia that is probably more extensive than any encyclopedia in your shelves. Being a wiki it can be changed by anyone at anytime and many disrequard it for that reason--but that is also its strength. The sections are put together by people who really know and should be a rich source of information.

I am sure that many other sources also exist that could be very helpful to the content of any class.

Web Pages

Web pages are easy to create and to post as a point of content, and of contact for the students in your class. Many can be produced using a word processor and them saving the material in HTML or as a web page and then incorporating it into or linking it to the web page itself.

Blogs

Blogs are a method of incorporation real-time interaction between class members and/or the teacher. It forms a basis for dialog in much the same way as class discussion.

Wiki Use

A wiki forms the basis for real collaboration between anyone regardless of geographic location. This is a wiki. Wikipedia is a wiki, and as such can be changed by anyone from anywhere at anytime. However all suggested changes are recorded and can be either accepted or rejected at the discretion of the administrator. Accordingly for just cause such as vandalism all contributions from an offending web address can be blocked if need be. No one can know all there is to know about any subject and their contribution can be strengthened by constructive expert input. A wiki forms an excellent platform for collaboration regardless of distance or schedule interference.

Pod Casting

Recording events such as speeches, interviews, lectures, or any pertinent event for later viewing by a class can be posted in the form of a Pod Cast. This allows pivotal events to be available, even with perverse schedule differences.

Information Organization and Generation

When we teach we deal in the organization of data and information. With the advent of the outliner, now with many word processors, some information manipulation was possible. More powerful information managers such as MaxThink [3] allowed information not only to be arranged, but to be moved, prioritized, or sorted.This is a much more powerful tool.

Between these an appreciable amount of creativity can occur. As you evaluate your outline there are two tests of outline that can be applies:

  • Is each heading in an outline level equal in importance and coverage? If not rearrange the hierarchy of the headings.
  • Do the headings in this level cover everything depicted by this level? If not, add the missing headings.

In performing this analysis a more complete coverage can be attained, and proper emphasis can be applied.

Tony Buzan [4]offered a method he calls Mind mapping Mind Mapping that allows information to be arranged to increase memory using gestalt, color, and illustrations to reinforce the presentation.

Online Class Management

In this day of online-learning many of our universities and even some of out schools are resorting to the internet. Our students seem to accept it and understand it better than we do. To manage the classes, the student involvement, give quizzes, create a dialogue within the class, and even provide for student evaluation input and post final grades, a software management system is used. The most frequently used system seems to be Blackboard, but this requires an investment on the part of the institution that depends upon the anticipated use factor. A presently free alternative seems to be Moodle. User analysis seems to be very high on the package.

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