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How does discipleship take place in smaller groups?

Why do we break off into smaller groups in the first place?

What methods and models are best suited to accomplish the purpose of Sunday School, small groups, or home groups?

The topic of adult education within the context of a local church has not often been addressed within the gospel-centered resurgence. Perhaps this lack of conversation explains why we see a startling amount of diversity within the churches of this movement.

On the one side, there is the model that uses the traditional Sunday School hour to focus heavily on core seminars and the need for biblical literacy and the development of theological acumen. On the other side, a number of churches that have adopted the “Sticky Church” model, which is based on discussion questions from the pastor’s weekly sermon. In between these two models, many churches continue to run their programs of traditional Sunday School, but with little vision for training leaders or utilizing the structure of Sunday School for the education of believers.

Last week, Mark Dever, Michael Kelley, and Matt Chandler joined me for a conversation about methods in accomplishing adult education. We discussed the different models and methods, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Check out the video by clicking here. Download the mp3 audio here.

Topics Discussed:

  • 0:10 Introduction of panel and different perspectives related to discipleship in smaller groups
  • 3:45 What is the purpose of the smaller group meeting?
  • 8:23 What is the best learning / teaching style?
  • 15:15 Strengths and weaknesses of discussion-based groups
  • 20:08 Strengths and weaknesses of lecture-based groups
  • 25:00 Strengths and weaknesses of the alignment model
  • 29:50 How do you determine what is important to teach and learn in a smaller group?
  • 34:10 How does your strategy deal with your environment? (educated, uneducated, transitional, stable)
  • 37:07 Groups based on age or life stage
  • 45:00 The role of community in adult education
  • 50:34 Child education, children’s worship, etc.
  • 54:15 Advice to pastors who have inherited a Sunday School structure
  • 1:00:21 Raising up leaders

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3 thoughts on “Adult Education Panel at T4G – Video & Audio Online”

  1. MIke says:

    What a great conversation, thanks for posting it!

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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