Ben takes time to share tips on how he has been training teachers for over 20 years!!


  1. I DIDN’T PREPARE: There are always those that do not prepare (this maybe because of lack of planning as well as an emergency). I usually encourage those that are not prepared and help them to overcome. Firstly, have them set time to actually prepare. Scheduling will strongly help them to overcome. Secondly, have them go over the notes at least once a few days ahead of time. Thirdly, take time to pray through the notes (read the bible verses that are given). Lastly, have them time themselves to stay within the 20 minutes.
  2. I AM SHY: God made some people shy and that is just the way that God made them. I want to encourage these to prepare ahead of time (see above). The easiest way to overcome is to have them practice and pray before teaching. Lastly, know that God is with them. As a facilitator, remind them that greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  3. I KNOW MORE:  Thank God people know more. However, please enforce that they go through the notes. Why? The people are expecting the notes in 20 minutes. If someone knows a lot more about the topic, then have them set another time to share extra knowledge.
  4. GOING TO LONG: Please take time to stay within the 20 minute limit. Others are expecting this, and it creates a culture of honor. Again, please have teachers practice ahead of time and stay within the time limited. It will create less frustration. Of course if the Holy Spirit comes upon the group just go with it. But make sure it is God and not an excited zealous person.
  5. I DON’T NEED TO FOLLOW THE NOTES: There is always someone that feels they don’t need to follow the notes. They may feel they are “led by the Spirit” and don’t want to be controlled by notes (or something else). Be gracious but firm with them. Let them know that there is a time and place to be Spirit led. However, invite them to honor the group by teaching what is expected and allow the Holy Spirit to share in the hearers hearts.
  6. HOUR OF POWER: This is the person that now feels God will move through them because they are finally at the helm (they may feel they secretly trust God and have mountains of faith). Be gracious but firm with them. Explain that there is time at the end to pray for specific needs, but during the teaching time; just trust the process and stick to the notes. They may also try and preach instead of teach. Just ask them to teach gently, yet with passion.
  7. LOTS OF QUESTIONS: Sometimes questions will arise. It is important to have a balance with this. Allow questions, but don’t allow questions to take over. As a facilitator I try to answer the questions that arise, while at the sametime saving the larger and longer questions for the end. This also allow things to stay on time (staying on time is important for the reputation of your group. If you are a group that always starts late and ends late, then people will not want to come to your group, because they won’t know when your group ends. Consistency will draw a lot more people then inconsistency.
  8. OFF TOPIC DISCUSSIONS: There will always be off topic discussions. Such as the latest, greatest, and newest idea. There is a time and place to talk about this. But stay on time and on topic. They will respect your leadership more and more when you do this.
  9. TRAGEDY: Tragedies happen and you should take time for them. If possible try to deal with them before the group starts (i.e. invite folks a ½ hour before meeting for prayer to deal with a major tragedy), or explain at the start of the meeting that you will pray at the end of the meeting for the individual. Note: some people just like the attention and will always come in with a problem if you let them.
  10. NEGATIVE NELLIE: These are individuals that always see the glass half empty, and or, have a crisis they feel needs to be addressed. Try to handle with before or after the group. If that doesn't work try to direct them to an older or wiser person in the group (or the local church). Lastly, if they are a real distraction, then calmly take them aside (not during the meeting but outside of the meeting) and ask them to please refrain from the negative talk and encourage them to honor the rest of the group as peacemakers that edify, exhort and comfort.  Matt. 5:9; 1 Cor. 14:3  
  11. NERVOUS NED: There are teachers that may be very nervous. This is natural to a lot of first time teachers. Create a culture where they can succeed. You can do this as a facilitator (talk, and encourage them, ahead of time); group, have a group that is flexible with those that are just learning (encourage one another).