Over the past few weeks most of us have seen or heard about someone graduating. We may have even been invited to attend the event, cheering for our friend or family member as they walked across the stage. These ceremonies serve as markers for the graduate, pointing to them finishing something. For some it was a struggle while others appeared to easily meet the requirements. Either way, graduation day motivated both. Wearing a robe and mortar board, moving the tassel from the right to left side, and holding a diploma kept them going through that class everyone dreaded and the assignments. Graduation ceremonies remind us of the value of recognition.
The people in our classes or groups and the teachers or leaders to whom we may relate also value recognition. We may not provide them with a cap and gown or a diploma, we can recognize them in some way. Let’s think about the ways we may encourage them along the way.
The People in our Classes or Groups
Opportunities to share. Some classes and groups rarely provide an opportunity for the participants to share what they learned in their personal Bible study time. As a result, one might mistakenly get the idea that the only person capable of studying outside the group time is the teacher or leader. One way of recognizing those who study beyond the class or group time is to invite them to share. We may give them a heads up the week prior which also serves as a form of recognition for them since we are communicating that we think they are capable of sharing.
Provide resources. People need both group and individual study time, and they need direction for both. Providing a resource that helps them study with a group and as individuals is one way of recognizing them. They get rewarded for using a resource by receiving the next study. Those who don’t study should still be provided with a study resource otherwise they will never get in the habit.
The Teachers and Leaders
Train them. First, we can make sure that we help them know how to use the resources provided. If we are using Explore the Bible, we may point them to the How to Use videos or show them ourselves using the information that appears in the first few pages of the resource. We may point them to the free monthly webinars hosted by Ken Braddy, director of Sunday School for Lifeway, or create our own training plan. Helping someone get better is always welcomed.
Provide resources. Assigning a leader a class or group and then leaving him or her on the island with no tools eventually creates a problem for us and them. One way we can recognize our teachers and leaders is by providing them the tools they need to do the work. That means we need to know what they need and also know the tools available. Preview Explore the Bible resources.
Give them extra tools. Most of us enjoy having an extra tool we can use if we ever need to. Providing an extra tool to our teachers and leaders is what we usually think of with recognition. One free tool available is Snapshots, a compilation of introductions and outlines of every Bible book. We can secure it by completing a form, download the PDF, and then provide it to our teachers and leaders.