One of the things I love most about our community group teachers is that we are all committed to high quality. We know that we are called to serve in this way, and we want to do it well. Our teachers at Salem Alliance work hard to present lessons that teach the truth in an interesting way.

Our goals as community group teachers go beyond transmission of facts. Most people don’t take notes (at least when I teach!) and there are no tests. So we look elsewhere for motivation. For me, it has to come back to discipleship: bringing people closer to God.

I believe that I am less than a perfect teacher. There is always room for improvement. Because of this, I am always interested in how I can improve. That’s why I am interested in peer reviews. That’s why I love to hear you teach. I learn from you – not only the content of your teaching, but from the way you organize and present it, the way you involve the class, the way you deal with questions and comments.

Last spring I had the chance to sit in on a series of classes taught by Gordon Bergman. (Gordon, if you read this, please forgive me for making an example of you.) Gordon was taking us through a Bible passage. Basically he covered a whole New Testament book (a short one) in 4-5 weeks. What was interesting to me was that for each passage, as we read it and he introduced it, he hardly said anything about it! Instead he used sort of a socratic method, asking us (the class) questions, and in his reflections on our answers and his subtle steering of the conversations, his research and preparation came out. But it did so in interaction, not as a lecture. I was impressed! Because in hearing the class members’ views, I got to know them better (we’re newbies there), and the people who commented were obviously learning by their participation in the discussion.

Gordon is really good at getting people to participate. I’m not as skilled. But I want to be more like Gordon. Lecture less, ask more. My style is really different from his, but I can learn from him, and move in that direction. That’s my growing edge.

What’s your growing edge? Type a comment below, and let’s discuss.