Articles by Kevin E. Lawson



  • Talbot Magazine

    Book Excerpt: Facilitating and Supporting the Ministry of Your Associate Staff

    Except adapted from 'Supervising and Supporting Ministry Staff: A Guide to Thriving Together' by Kevin E. Lawson and Mick Boersma.

    Mick Boersma, Kevin E. Lawson — 

    What produces satisfaction for you in your ministry efforts? Is it seeing increased attendance, or increased giving, or receiving a lot of positive...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation in the Reformation Movement: Impact on Ministry with Children in Churches Today [i] , Part II As I shared...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation in the Reformation Movement: Impact on Ministry with Children in Churches Today [i] , Part I As most of you...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    My friend and colleague, Mick Boersma, and I have been working together on a book, Supervising and Supporting Ministry Staff: A Guide to Thriving Together (forthcoming, Rowman & Littlefield). The book is based on research with associate staff members, and exemplary ministry supervisors, about what supervisors can do to help their ministry staff thriving in their ministry roles. It employs a “bifocal lens” model, looking simultaneously at issues of supervision (seeing that the ministry is done well) and support (encouraging the wellbeing of those doing the ministry). Along with the research results, which we share throughout the book, we also put together five biblical foundations for ministry together that I want to share in this blog. I encourage you to read these and reflect on the degree to which they guide your ministry with other staff members, and what other biblical foundations are important to you as you approach your ministry on a staff team ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Who has God brought into your life to teach you the Bible and help you grow in your faithfulness in following after Christ? Is it your pastor? Are there also others who have taught you the Scriptures, or who are teaching your friends or family members? In most churches, the Bible is being taught in a variety of places to different groups of different ages and stages of life. From children’s classes to youth group settings, to small group ministries, throughout the week God’s Word is opened and studied in churches around the world. This is one of the most powerful agents for change in our lives ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    This is fourth and final in a series of blogs on José Bowen’s book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared in my first blog that the main thrust of his book was for teachers to use technology to deliver content outside of class sessions, and shift the use of class time to processing that information, promoting critical thinking and the application of knowledge to real life situations. I then identified three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. In my second blog, I put the focus on his first idea, finding ways to use technology to provide content to group members, preparing them for active learning in your Bible study group. In the third blog I focused on how to better use your class time to help students in processing and applying the content of the Scripture you are studying together. In this final blog, I want to give our attention to ways we can use social media and other online technologies to connect with those we teach, promote a stronger sense of community as we follow Christ, and promote the application of what we are learning over time, deepening the impact of our studies ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    This is the third in a series of four blogs on José Bowen’s book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared in my first blog that his main thrust was for teachers to use technology to deliver content outside of class sessions and shift the use of class time to processing that information, promoting critical thinking and the application of knowledge to real life situations. There are three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. In my second blog, I put the focus on his first idea, finding ways to use technology to provide content to group members, preparing them for active learning in your Bible study group. In this blog, I want to focus on how to use your class time to help students in processing and applying the content of the Scripture you are studying together.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    A few months ago I wrote about José Bowen’s seminar and his book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared that his main thrust was for teachers to use technology to deliver content outside of class sessions, and shift the use of class time to processing that information, promoting critical thinking and the application of knowledge to real life situations. There are three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. Over the next few months I’ll be writing a brief blog on each of the three ideas, beginning with ways of using technology to get students into the content of the Bible lesson/study before you meet, preparing them for a more active and deeper learning experience together.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Now there is a provocative title for a blog! But it’s probably not what you think. This past spring I attended a faculty development seminar at Biola University led by José Bowen, author of the book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). The main thrust of his sessions with us, and of his book, is that with information being so readily available through mass technology, we need to leverage that technology to maximize classroom interaction with students, shifting our roles from presenters of information (which students can get more readily online) to coaches who help students process that information, promoting deeper learning, critical thinking, and application of knowledge to life situations. As I reflected on Bowen’s ideas, I think we may need to start “teaching naked” in the church. Let me tell you what I mean.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    In my last post, I talked about the importance of our ministry with children and some ministry objectives we need to pursue. In this follow up blog I would like to talk about four aspects of children’s ministry that together help us accomplish our goals of helping children grow and mature as a part of the church, the people of God. These are worthy goals, and it can be tempting to try to design one children’s program in the church to address them all. But if we take them each seriously, it will soon be clear that this is more than a matter of having a class or a club program for children. Instead, it requires thinking carefully about the full life of the church, as well as the church and family environment our children grow up in. It has implications for what we do for our children, with them, to them, and the opportunities we provide for them to be engaged in ministry themselves. I invite you to read and think with me about what this might look like.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    It’s been awhile since I have posted on the Good Book Blog. Since I come back to post a few times a year, I want to begin with an area of ministry that is very dear to my heart – ministry with children. In many ways, I think the church in general has a very mixed view of ministry with children. On the one hand we recognize that children are a gift, and we value them highly. On the other hand, we may often feel that “real ministry” takes place with youth and adults. Perhaps it is that we more readily see the impact of our teaching with youth or adults, and in ministry with children it is harder to see significant changes. What we may miss out on is seeing the powerful foundational nature of ministry with children that sets life directions and patterns that “bloom” later in adulthood. I, for one, recognize the critical importance of ministry with children, and the impact it can have for a lifetime. In this blog, and the one that will follow, I’ll be talking about the kinds of ministry objectives we should be aiming for in ministry with children, and some models of ministry for those who serve the children in their congregations. What I share here is adapted and expanded from some material I wrote as part of Introducing Christian Education and Formation, by Ron Habermas, published by Zondervan (2008).

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    We often face pressures to move our Bible teaching sessions along in church, sacrificing depth of teaching impact to save time and keep on schedule with the lesson plans. What do we lose when we do this, and how might we respond to these pressures to ensure greater depth of impact in our teaching?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    One of the more important areas of preparing to teach for deeper impact that we all acknowledge is the need to pray about our teaching. I believe that all of us affirm this, but when it comes down to what and how to pray we are a bit vague and unsure what to do. Asking God to “bless” our teaching efforts is important, but not enough. In this month’s blog I suggest some ways we can be praying as we prepare to teach.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    A few months ago I introduced and explained a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe has greater potential for encouraging deeper, more transformative learning. Unfortunately, not many of us are teaching in this way and we need to begin changing how we prepare our lessons and how we use our time as we teach our students. Last month I began to share some ideas for how to begin moving from a “teaching for knowing” to a “teaching for growing” ministry. This month I will finish up these more specific ideas and give you some more questions for reflection. Beginning next month I’ll go back and spend more time on issues of how we prepare for our teaching, how we move beyond teaching for knowing in our use of time in the group, and how to develop a longer-term approach to promoting growth through our teaching. This blog picks up where the last one left off, with six more ideas for teaching more like a coach.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Over the last two months I have introduced and explained a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe has greater potential for encouraging deeper, more transformative learning. Unfortunately, not many of us are teaching in this way and we need to begin changing how we prepare our lessons and how we use our time as we teach our students. This month and next I want to share about a dozen ideas for how to begin moving from a “teaching for knowing” to a “teaching for growing” ministry. After these blogs I’ll go back and spend more time on issues of how we prepare for our teaching, how we move beyond teaching for knowing in our use of time in the group, and how to develop a longer-term approach to promoting growth through our teaching. First, how do we begin to teach more like a coach?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Last month I shared a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe can help us deepen the impact of our teaching, helping us avoid the problems of biblical amnesia and aborted application. This month I start by looking at Paul’s teaching ministry to see how this coaching approach fits with his efforts. Then I go back through the phases of the coaching model and talk about what that would mean for us as teachers in the church. What does it look like to begin teaching like a coach?

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Over the last three months I’ve described a “right-handed” model for thinking about what we do in Christian education. It pulls together five “right” aspects of what we need to focus on in our teaching: right relationship, right knowledge, right passion or heart, right will, and right actions. For the next few months I want to explore and unpack a “coaching” pedagogy that helps promote real growth, not just increased knowledge. Let me start with a verse from one of my favorite Psalms and a story.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Two months ago I raised a concern about a problem some churches struggle with in seeing limited impact of their teaching ministries in the lives of those who participate. I talked about some ways this problem has tended to be addressed, and my own conviction that there is a need for a better model or approach to our teaching if we hope to see real growth occur. Last month I introduced the basic ideas of “right-handed” teaching and discussed the first half of the model. This month I want to continue and complete my discussion of the model and then begin looking at how it works together.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Over the next several months, I will be addressing the problem of the shallow impact of many teaching ministries in our churches and ways that we might “Teach Deeper” for greater openness to God’s transforming work. In this second blog I share the first half of a proposal for how to understand the goals of our teaching to more naturally help those we teach both understand and begin to respond to God’s Word in ways that can lead to lasting change.

  • The Good Book Blog

    Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Over the next several months, I will be addressing the problem of the shallow impact of many teaching ministries in our churches and ways that we might “Teach Deeper” for greater openness to God’s transforming work. In this first blog I pose some questions about why some of our teaching ministries seem to bear limited fruit and how we might better approach our teaching ministries.