The Relationship between Follow-up and Transformation

Today’s blog post comes from the book Teaching for Results. The author reminds us that the goal of teaching isn’t just the transfer of information from teacher to student, but it is about the transformation of the  group members. Here is what the author, Findley Edge, has to say about the need for teachers to follow up with their group members:

The teacher needs to have some plan to find out whether the lives of the members are really being influenced by his or her teaching…Too often at the end of a class session they have only a vague hope they are doing some good. If the teacher does expect growth in the lives of the members, this vague hope is not sufficient. The teacher must find out what is really happening in the lives of the members…A plan for followup with adults is also needed to let the class members know the teacher really expects them to do something about what is taught in class on a Sunday morning.

This is a good reminder that we teach to see people transformed, not just to transfer information from teacher to learners. To help ensure that people are being transformed, the author suggests two things to help measure the progress.

  1. Calling group members – the author encourages teachers to set aside time to call group members for the purpose of discovering how they are applying the teaching to life’s circumstances. This is somewhat dependent upon the depth and quality of the relationships between the teacher and the group members.
  2. Mail a response letter – while in class, have group members jot down a few ideas related to how they plan to go about applying the lesson to their lives. The teacher then collects the letters written by his or her group members, and addresses and stamps an envelope. The letters are then mailed to group members as a reminder of their commitment to apply the lesson in specific ways.

All of this to say, let’s make sure that our teaching has an aim, and that is the spiritual transformation of the people in our groups. They should increasingly look and act like Jesus as they journey through life. Like Findley Edge says, “The understanding must be instilled in the minds of the class members that this teaching is for life and for action” (p.120).

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