I’ve taught a lot of different types of classes in my day– classes at all levels and in all different types of contexts. Reflecting on those experiences, I’ve found that the classes I’ve enjoyed the most don’t depend on the age or educational level of the students– it depends on their level of current ministry involvement.

When I teach classes where people aren’t actively involved in ministry, it shows up in their questions. They ask about things that have little to know real-world application. If people are asking about situations I’ve never dealt with and have never known anyone else in ministry who has dealt with, chances are it’s not worth discussing in theory.

On the other hand, when the students are actively involved in ministry, they’re asking questions directly related to their current ministry experiences. The questions are relevant and timely, and the answers have immediate application.

I’ve found that it’s generally not helpful to keep giving uninvolved people more information. I don’t think we should train people unless they’re actively involved in making disciples. Education is far more effective when people are actively engaged in ministry and are taking time out for development.