At Grace Polaris Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Westerville, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor), a class was implemented to do just that – prepare members to prepare biblical messages.
In Spring of 2016, Dan Tinderholt, one of the nursing home worship team speakers, approached Tim Waggoner, care pastor and care team director, and asked about this opportunity to grow. Waggoner recognized the value of the idea, and that it was a vital need in the local church. Two years later, the first class has just been completed – and it was a huge hit.
“After much prayer, recruiting of presenters, and preparing the course description, ‘Preparing and Giving a Message from the Bible’ was launched on January 14, 2018,” says Waggoner.
The course was led by church leaders and pastoral staff, including Mike Yoder, Jim Custer, Beau Stanley, Zac Hess, Tim Waggoner, Gary Webb, and Rob Johnson.
The nine-week course covered several important aspects:
- The Role of Prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the Word
- Observing and Interpreting the Biblical Texts
- Structuring Bible Messages
- Illustrating and Applying the Biblical Texts
- Understanding and Addressing One’s Audience
Twenty-five learners participated in the class, and fifteen gave much positive feedback about what they learned. Participants noted that they learned many important applications, such as:
- Praying through the verses you are studying
- Praying for the audience during study time
- Leading others to Christ, not just stating facts about the story
- Connecting everything back to God
- Dwelling on the context instead of jumping right to application
One participant shares, “I tend to get caught up in the content without enough prayer. I had most of the pieces but hadn’t thought of the process.”
Many participants also shared that they would love to take the class again, yearly or every other year. They stated in a survey that a class like this is not just useful for speaking to groups, but also in one-on-one conversations with others.
Another participant shares, “Learning from the variety of pastors was so helpful to see that they may have different styles and gifts, but they have one common goal – Jesus preached.”
Grace Polaris Church plans to present the class again in 2019.
Click here to send a note of encouragement to Waggoner.