Able to teach: How do we assess?

I’ve been writing a little here about taking a different approach to training and equipping for Gospel ministry. I’ve argued that we need to start by thinking about outcomes, what are the competencies we are looking for in someone who will be planting a church, pastoring, working as an evangelist in the community, involved in leading women’s ministry or doing children and youth work?  We identified a group of core competencies that we should be looking for: Teaching, leadership, evangelism, discipleship and I began to make some suggestions about how we assess people in these areas. So, I thought it might be helpful to share some more detailed thoughts on what we are looking for when assessing against the competencies and I may well share these as downloadable forms later.

When it comes to teaching, I’d encourage you to get two or three people to observe you -and not just the one time. Ge them to observe a few talks or studies and give you feedback. I think it is best to start with objective, observable information.  So, I would get people to observe you and to answer the following questions:

  1. How long did the teaching session last for and what format did it take (e.g. monologue, Q&A, discussion, break out groups, interview etc).
  2. Summarise in one or two sentences what the main point was?
  3. Share a bit more detail concerning what was said including main headings, questions asked etc.
  4. Did the teacher use illustrations and can you recall them?
  5. What % of the time did the speaker spend looking at their notes and what % making eye contact with their audience?
  6. Did they use any words that you or others in the audience were unlikely to know and were these words defined and explained?
  7. Did they get anything factually wrong (this may be something the Bible says, historical context or doctrinal belief)?

I would then ask questions that get to the heart of the impact and effectiveness of the talk/study

  1. What did you personally learn from the talk/study?
  2. Can you name two ways in which applying the talk/study in your life has made a difference?
  3. Are you aware of ways in which the talk/study had an impact on anyone else?

Finally we ask a few questions that are a little more subjective and dependent upon opinions.

  1. We know how long the talk lasted but how long did it feel like and would you say that was too long, too short or just about right?
  2. Did the talk/study feel relevant to your life and that of other listeners?
  3. Was there anything that might have made some people feel excluded/like outsiders?
  4. How would you describe the speakers pitch/tone?
  5. Were there any mannerisms that you believe distracted from the talk?
  6. To what extent did you agree/disagree with what they said?
  7. Do you think you would feel able to challenge/question the speaker?
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