I'd be curious to hear from others what % of the year do you or your primary preacher/teacher teach on Sundays and is there reasons behind that?
During all the youth ministry years, as well as during Graceland and the young adult ministry years at my former church - I taught 95% of the time on Sundays. I would rarely miss a Sunday except for vacations for the most part. Even at 50% now, I still am the one who teaches most in our church over the course of a year. I am heading into a 6 out of 7 weeks straight teaching on Sundays starting next Sunday. But we intentionally now have a team teaching approach.
The reason is that I have a certain temperament and style of preaching. I also believe that I have topics and areas of teaching that I teach better than other areas. I find myself getting more energy teaching about apologetics, or theological topics, or tough issues about the faith or about mission. I love teaching books of the Bible like we are for the whole month of August (We are teaching through Philemon). But I believe there are others gifted to teach on biblical topics like parenting, marriage, conflict and counseling types of teaching, spiritual formation issues etc. that do so in my opinion better than I can. I know it is the Spirit who changes people with what we teach, and it is the Scriptures and truth from Scripture we are bringing out – but at the same time, there are different people who have deeper insight than others on certain areas. I have taught on all those things in the past and still do when needed, but now try to focus on what I believe is my best contribution for teaching and have others who bring their best as well.
Like with doctors, we have specialists in certain areas. Or in schools and colleges there are teachers with specialties in studies so their teaching is all the more depthful. So in the church, I think taking advantage of how different people that is a good thing. I think it benefits the church rather than have one person try to be expert in all areas.
It also allows those with teaching gifts for a larger group in a worship gathering format to also use their gifts. It also shapes our church culture not on one personality from upfront. We still have one person teach at least 50% brings enough stability yet having the other 50% done by others brings a well roundedness of strength, wisdom, personality, stories etc. Because we also see "pastoring" as mainly what happens not in the large meeting but in smaller settings where people know one another and are "pastored" in the context of ongoing relationships with those whom have pastoring gifts.
So, when someone visits Vintage Faith Church it is a 50-50 chance I will be teaching on a Sunday.
I sometimes find it fascinating that if a church has one primary teacher, they kind of have to be super-heroes almost in being passionate experts in apologetics, every book of the Bible, marriages and parenting, relationships etc. I do know some are very gifted to be speaking on almost anything. Andy Stanley seems to be like that. I probably listen to his sermons more than anyone else's – but I am amazed as his diversity. But I am guessing he is more rare, and I know for me, there are things I find myself more passionate and I think communicate better about than other things.
This approach of team teaching also gives me the opportunity to speak other places. I am usually home by Sundays – but I then can travel to conferences to speak. It is energizing to me being in other parts of the country. Meeting other leaders and hearing about what others churches are doing. My favorite part of conferences is what happens in the hallways, during lunches, after a session is over and you are hanging out with people talking. I get so many ideas for our church from what God is doing in other churches too.
I just posted on the left of this blog the schedule of when I am speaking at various places. I was going to start walking through each one and highlight it, but I did link to their web sites so you can see what I am doing at each one, who the other speakers are etc. I am always open to meeting with people if we get it down in advance as my schedule fills up so fast while there. So always feel free to email me about meeting up.
With the Origins Project, we are scheduling in a Fall and Spring "Listening Tour" which I will post about. But those on the Origins leadership team will be tagging on to the places we speak lunches or dinners to meet those interested in helping shape Origins and our direction and get input from you. Also to ask questions. So we will be posting that schedule soon and with every date here I am posting where I will be, we will have an Origins meeting in that city while there. So that will happen.
Anyway, I get asked where I am going to be at and I just posted the Fall schedule – so there it is and hope to meet those nearby those cities or if you are coming to the event. And I will post the Origins schedule of meetings as soon as we nail them down.
With this topic, I would be interested from those who are in the teaching role, what % you teach during the year? And anything you can share to why you do teach the % of weeks of the year as you do.