Emmanuel (Burundi) watches as this group solves his teaching 'puzzle', the structure of Colossians 4:2-6

‘Your Teaching is Still Running in my Eyes’

BY llewis | 15 January 2014 |

Encouraging a growing network of local preaching facilitators in East Africa

Participants in the East Africa Preacher teacher workshop

Participants in the East Africa Preacher teacher workshop

The first 4-day-long regional teacher workshop for Langham Preaching country coordinators and facilitators in East Africa recently took place in Nairobi. Jennifer Cuthbertson and Mike McGowan facilitated this interactive workshop. The 15 participants came from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. They had all previously completed all three levels of Langham Preaching seminars as well as further training as facilitators. The aim of this workshop was to identify problems they had encountered when teaching Level 1 seminars.

Working in teams, they first discussed what, as students, they had found most difficult to learn in the seminar, and then what lessons they had found most daunting to teach. From that, they together selected five challenging lessons to focus on in this workshop.

Everyone worked hard at the practice exercises covering goal setting, lesson planning, teaching and evaluation. It prepared them for the key part of the workshop: practice teaching.

Emmanuel (Burundi) watches as this group solves his teaching 'puzzle', the structure of Colossians 4:2-6

Emmanuel (Burundi) watches as this group solves his teaching ‘puzzle’, the structure of Colossians 4:2-6

Each team had ‘drawn’ a lesson out of the five to prepare and teach. They would also evaluate how much their ‘class’ had learned. In each case, the ‘class’ and facilitators would respond with feedback on the relevance of exercises and illustrations used and on how well the team’s goals were met. Together all suggested ways to improve any weak elements of the lessons.

Their practice teaching was particularly finely timed for the teams from Rwanda and Burundi. They returned home on Saturday evening – and started teaching Level 1 seminars the following Monday!

Albert & Alice (Rwanda) plan a lesson that teaches how to 'cross the bridge' from the biblical text into the contemporary world.

Albert & Alice (Rwanda) plan a lesson that teaches how to ‘cross the bridge’ from the biblical text into the contemporary world.

Alice Mugeni, one of the Rwandan seminar teachers, wrote:

’I think the greatest thing I have learned is to make learning and teaching simple, easy, fun and enjoyable and to know how to set goals and know the best way to achieve that! … what comes first and all the steps I would follow … the use of illustrations … it helped participants to understand better and easier [the] different concepts.’

Rev. John Orochi from Uganda responded enthusiastically afterwards: ‘Your teaching is still running in my eyes!’

In addition to improving their teaching practice, the participants also developed new friendships and strengthened existing ones, worked in teams, and became a more cohesive regional unit.

In the words of Emmanuel Bagumako from Burundi:

’Knowing that we are surrounded by a family of Langham members with the same heart and same vision is so encouraging when we are doing the ministry. While we were having the Level 1 in Bujumbura, I was encouraged to know that in Kigali, Alice and Albert [Mabasi] are doing the same, facing same challenges but not discouraged, rejoicing with the same light in eyes of participants when they discover new things … people are praying for us with a true heart and knowing exactly what we are facing because they have been through it’.

By Jennifer Cuthbertson, Coordinator for Trainer Development, Langham Preaching.