009: 4 Simple Ways To Create Better Lay Leaders

Let’s be honest. You’ve sensed the need to expand the ministry of your small church for quite a while. You’ve got great people, but they need some theological training to be effective. The problem is you don’t have the time or resources. You feel inadequate. You’ve ditched the idea of adding something else to the church’s schedule. So how can you train your volunteer teachers and leaders?

This is the situation that many pastors face.

Maybe you have a similar situation yourself. If so, consider these alternatives to adding another time slot.



We all have crazy schedules. Whether you’re a full-time or bi-vocational pastor you already have a crowded calendar. And, creating a schedule that will work with your people is difficult. How can you train your key people under these circumstances?

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    • Every church should strive for excellence in their ministry of the Word.
    • Every Christian should have training in Christian theology at some level.
    • Every church should develop a theologically sound leadership team.
    • Every church should groom potential vocational ministers for service.


4 Options For The Smaller Church

I understand the limitations of a smaller church. Finding the right combination that fits your budget and schedule can be difficult.  I believe that the best context for theological training is within the local church.  At first it may seem like you have limited options. But, here are at least four alternatives a busy pastor should consider.

      1. Create a Sunday school class for theological training. This is a great option because it doesn’t add anything to the schedule. Your key people are already there for the Sunday school hour. If some of your leaders are also Sunday school teachers, allow a backup to fill in for them. Or, consider combining adult classes together for training.
      2. Use your small-group time to offer theological training. This is a great time to help people think through their theology. Open things up for discussion. Challenge them and make them think. You might consider allowing  some of your lay leaders to teach. This would make them dig into the Scripture. They’ll be learning theology and methods at the same time.
      3. Train your leaders using modern technology. Use Google Hangouts to do live teaching that fits your peoples schedule. If that doesn’t work make your theological training available on video or audio. Create PDF’s they can download and develop a simple way to track their progress.
      4. Point them toward an online bible course. Make sure that it is theologically sound and in keeping with your churches teachings. There are many resources on the web. Some of these are high quality schools that offer certificates and degrees. Others are free and offer downloadable certificates of completion.
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I want to encourage you to begin training your key people in a systemized way. Whatever route you choose, give your people sound theological training. It will improve the health of your church regardless of it’s size.