This method of training leaders was developed by Presbyterian Missionaries in Guatemala in the 1960's. Among them were Ralph Winters, Ross Kinsler and James Emery, men who have impacted missions globally.
These seminary professors filled a leadership development gap for those who could not attend a seminary. They developed a three-step method that brings dynamic results. Within ten years, it was being used by 128 training institutions in 57 nations. Today it is used throughout the world to train leaders who otherwise would not receive training because they do not qualify academically, cannot afford it or cannot leave home to attend a resident school.
I began using this method in 1985 while training leaders for the Christian Church in Nigeria. The need for this training was so great, that an ad-hoc committee of missionaries and African leaders established the Christian Leadership Training Institute for the sole purpose of enabling the training in four nations. In Ghana, we produced the materials in audio format for those who could not read nor write any language. This grassroots training put the churches on the road to growth and maturity. To learn more about its impact, click the green button on the left labeled TESTIMONIES. To learn more about the method, keep reading.
Step One: Programmed Home-Study Materials
Students must be able to learn without a teacher. Ordinary text books and workbooks are not that effective. However, a special format developed for correspondence courses called programmed instruction enables a student to learn without a teacher. This method has been used effectively in the secular world for many decades. The programmed instruction format enables a student to clearly understand important information without a teacher being present.
Training courses are developed around topics or books of the Bible. The courses deal with real issues that have to be dealt with in the day-to-day life of a Christian leader. The materials for each course are divided into daily lessons and weekly topics. A course normally takes 12 weeks to complete. All home-study lessons are in programmed instruction format.
If you would like to see an example of programmed instruction, put your cursor on the underlined blue words at the end of this paragraph and click on the link. Print it out and follow the instructions. You will experience programmed instruction and also learn more about this method. This method is often called Theological Education by Extension or T.E.E. for short. If you cannot open the file, you need to download Acrobat Reader - a free program easily found on the Internet. (Note: To return to this web page after printing or downloading the pdf file, you must click the return button (left arrow) in the upper left-hand corner of your browser window.) open a pdf file.
The most important part of this method is step two and step three. So, keep reading!
Step Two: Dynamic Weekly Discussions
Christian leaders within a congregation or a community are organized into a discussion group. The group can be no larger than twelve. The group meets once a week at a time and location most convenient to the participants. Participants study the same home-study materials. A trained group leader gives them a quiz over the assigned lessons and guides them in open discussion. The group leader does not teach. He uses questions to stimulate discussion and guide it to practical applications. The sessions enable participants to understand the application of information they learn in their home-study materials.
The weekly sessions encourage participants to work together as a team. Together they find practical solutions to problems that challenge their leadership. They encourage each other to be stronger leaders. The home-study materials give the participants Bible knowledge, but the weekly discussion sessions produce leadership decisions.
Step Three: Practical Assignments
The group leader asks participants to take action on their decisions. He gives them a time period to take the action and bring reports. The group evaluates the reports and looks for the best way to meet leadership challenges. Participants develop leadership skills through practical application. The home-study materials develop Bible knowledge, but the weekly discussion sessions and the practical assignments develops active leadership for building the Lord's Kingdom.
Let Me Help You
I can help you with this three-step method for leadership development. I have twelve programmed instruction courses to share with you. I can train your key leaders to setup the program and administer it. Click the green button on the left labeled TRAINING SEMINARS to learn more about the training I give to key leaders.