As a kid, I remember trying to convince my mother that I needed certain items when we went to the grocery store or the Five & Dime. Among the items that I assured her I could not live without included:
- A rubber bear-shaped eraser for the top of my pencil
- Fruit Loops
- Neapolitan ice-cream
- A few of those hyper-bouncy rubber balls that look like marbles, but aren’t
- Hot Wheels cars
Now it’s my turn to try and convince you there is one thing that every adult Bible study group needs. It’s the one thing most groups are missing these days, and it’s the one thing that could revolutionize your church’s group ministry. What is it? The one thing that every group needs is an apprentice teacher.
While most groups have a person or two that serve as subs, an apprentice teacher differs from a substitute teacher in several key ways:
- The apprentice teacher is preparing to branch out and start his own group. A sub is there to teach a lesson when the teacher is not available, and will stay with the group.
- The apprentice teaches with a regular cadence because he is preparing to lead his own group. The sub teaches occasionally.
- The apprentice teacher is a group’s signal that it is serious about starting a new group. If a group doesn’t have an apprentice teacher, chances are it is not leading the way in reaching new people. A substitute teacher doesn’t signal “multiplication” or “reproduction.” A sub is important, but it says “status quo,” not “Kingdom advancement.”
It is my conviction that every group should have an apprentice teacher, and I am also equally convinced that every group has an apprentice teacher – even if they haven’t stepped forward yet.