Teachers, this is why planning is important
One of the most frustrating things for congregational educators is the dirty little secret about their teachers and planning.
That secret being that most volunteer church educators, Sunday school teachers and Bible study leaders, tend to do a minimum of...
What Will You Do?
In Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) the concept of differentiation of self is all about functioning.
One manifestation of the extent to which one is functioning in a self-differentiated manner is how well one can separate feeling from thinking.
The Positive Listener Assessment
Research tells us that between 75% to 80% of the communication flow in most classrooms is from the teacher to the students.
While sharing information and directing instruction is a necessary part of the classroom learning experience, so is a...
Self Care and Christian Educators
The ministry and work of the professional church educator is challenging and demanding.
The fact is that the more you stay in the field and in the ministry (especially if you stay in the same ministry context) the job only...
The Validity of Prayer
First, I think I need to start this post by saying that I believe in prayer and am a practitioner (although I must confess that I didn’t really know how to pray until I was forty, even though I grew up...
A Formation Approach to Continued Education
In 1966 Jerome Bruner, Harvard psychologist and educator, wrote:
There is a dilemma in describing a course of study.
One must begin by setting forth the intellectual substance of what is to be taught, else there can be no sense...
How to Make a Choice
In Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) the concept of differentiation of self is all about functioning. One manifestation of the extent to which one is functioning in a self-differentiated manner is how well one can separate feeling from thinking. I...
Your Advice Isn’t Helping
Some time ago someone sent me an e-mail asking for advice on a matter.
I wrote back saying, “I don’t give advice,” though I did provide some resources related to the question.
Later, this person asked me to explain what...
Few things escape the consequences of their own success.
This axiom seems true even of Bowen Family Systems Theory.
It seems that systems theory is now the “in” thing—never have there been as many courses on it, or more “experts”...
The Post-Covid impact on congregations, and their responses, is a topic of much discussion these days.
There is lots of pondering, articles—popular and scholarly—guesses, prognostication, and no lack of angst on that topic.
Prognostication is not my spiritual gift, and...
Understanding Congregations: A Systems Perspective
This course is a five-week study on understanding the dynamics of congregations. Using the text, The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Understanding Church Dynamics, by Israel Galindo, participants will gain insights into the dynamics that impact many facts of congregational...
The Formula for Successful Learning: Retention
For years I used a mnemonic in teacher training workshops and faculty seminars to help participants remember a fundamental definition of learning.
The mnemonic was in the form of a “formula.”
As a teaching tool, it was effective, though I...
What are the elements to effective instruction?
When I review video presentations for a project, I primarily screen them for delivery rather than content.
It’s amazing how many basic rules of good communication presenters break—consistently—even professional speakers and celebrated “master teachers.”
The other side of the equation...
Deep thinking, powerful ideas
Quick quiz: What philosopher said, “To think is easy, to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”?
Answer: None. I pulled that quote out of a fortune cookie after lunch at a local Chinese restaurant....