Friday, November 14, 2008

Learning about planning and human resources

The friends in Chicago, IL (A) have had many teaching experiences over the last few years. From this have emerged many important insights. Here is trio of some particularly compelling insights about the institute process and planning efforts based on available human resources. This knowledge is helping the friends to be more effective in sharing the Message in their neighborhoods.

Study circles can be very effective when they are in small groups, for example a 2 or 3 people including the tutor. It helps respond directly to a seeker’s needs, there is no time wasted in waiting to put together a group, and after the study circle has started, there is more flexibility.

Planning in the last few cycles has been first strategy based and second resource based. A key learning has been that planning should be resource based first and then strategy based as well. This is related to learning gained about teaching and the institute process. We have learned that if the friends participate in the institute process without being involved in teaching, it slows down the teaching work, just as we have learned that if people participate in teaching without also being involved in the institute process it creates challenges for follow-up activities with new believers. A balance of both is needed for growth, so the cluster institute coordinators are working with the tutors to strengthen the friends’ understanding of—and participation in—the institute process.

We have learned that it is important that the dates of forthcoming intensive teaching efforts should be communicated to everyone well in advance to give more time for the community to plan for everything.

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