Teaching Eutychus – A Helpful Book for Teachers and Group Leaders by Houston Heflin

Houston Heflin has just put out a book for teachers and small group leaders called Teaching Eutychus. We had Houston do a teaching seminar for us in January and it was excellent. Some of that material is reflected in this book but there is much more to it than that. This book helps you undertstand what it takes to be an effective teacher. He examines the perspective of those who are seeking a deeper faith and what they are looking for in class, in their teachers/group facilitators and how to go about implementing the tools to teach and lead effectively. I don’t think there is anything else out there quite like it.

In addition to adding tools to our teaching toolbox, Houston does an outstanding job discussing the character and integrity of the person of the teacher. He makes some excellent points of the importance of living out what we teach and the importance of integrity and transparency in the process of teaching that are worth the cost of the book alone.

Third, Houston discusses meta-cognition. How do people learn, think, process information and grow from that process. He has a good section on learning styles and how to creatively implement them into your teaching repertoire. I could list the rest of the contents of the book but I would rather you pick it up and read it for yourself. Right now it is just available for kindle/e-readers. If you don’t have one of those you can download one for your PC.


Highly Recommend Houston Heflin’s Teacher Equipping Workshop

This past Saturday we had Dr. Houston Heflin come and share some very practical thoughts about teaching with our teachers and small group leaders. He was engaging, informative and practiced what he preached. What I mean by that last part is that Houston actually incorporated the techniques he was teaching into the format of the workshop. I love that. He wasn’t jut telling us. He was showing us and helping us engage in the learning process rather than just listening to him lecture about why we shouldn’t always lecture. Good stuff Houston!

If you want to sharpen up your education program and Bible class teachers I recommend having him come and share some time with your congregation. Thanks Houston for a great event and for the ways God has equipped you to teach others how to teach more effectively! If any of you want to have him come you can get more of his credentials and his contact information at the ACU Bible Faculty page.

You can also subscribe to his podcast called The Weekend Teacher where he shares thoughts about how to teach more effectively. There you will find 31 free podcasts that would be helpful for your teachers and small group leaders to listen to.

Teaching Workshop With Houston Heflin This Saturday

Northwest is hosting a teacher training workshop this Saturday from 9-12 with Dr. Houston Heflin of ACU. I have known Houston for at least 10 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. If you live in the Tampa Bay area or even in central Florida come on over to Northwest this Saturday for a treat! Breakfast and lunch will be provided. If your congregation would like to host an event like this I am sure you could email Houston at the email address below and work it out.

Here is a summary of what he is teaching and a schedule:

Teacher Equipping Seminar

Northwest Church of Christ

Saturday January 7, 2012

Dr. Houston Heflin


This seminar will look at the creative teaching methods of Jesus to learn from the master teacher. We will consider how to lead classroom and small group discussions, and share ideas to make our teaching more engaging and their learning more memorable.


8:45 – Arrive, breakfast/coffee

9:00 – Welcome

9:05 – Session 1: Learning Styles Theory

10:00 – Break

10:05 – Session 2: Preparing for Effective Lessons

10:55 – Break

11:00 – Session 3: Teaching for Spiritual Formation

11:50 – Final Words / Closing

12:00 – Lunch

 Lesson Descriptions

 Lesson 1: Learning Styles Theory

As teachers, it’s helpful to understand how we like to learn. Many people teach to their own learning style. This session will help teachers identify their learning preferences and how to connect with students who learn differently. During the session we also consider if learning styles are in fact real, or just a theory. What if there are some principles that apply to all students, regardless of how they think they learn best?

Lesson 2: Preparing for Effective Lessons

From the moment you learn you will be teaching to the last minute of your class there are many things you can do to ensure a successful experience. This step-by-step conversation about creating learning objectives for students and teaching notes for teachers will help you have more confidence when you enter the classroom. You’ll be able to put the pieces of a lesson together much more efficiently and effectively as a result of this training session on writing your own curriculum and preparing to teach it.

 Lesson 3: Teaching for Spiritual Formation

There are many spiritual practices that can supplement the learning that occurs during class and small group times. This session equips teachers with ideas such as written prayers, retelling stories, lectio divina, scripture memorization, incorporating lyrics to the songs we sing, and breath prayers.

The Future of Spiritual Formation (Houston Heflin)

Thanks to guest blogger Houston Heflin for these challenging thoughts:

The world is changing in ways that leave us with one of two choices in Christian discipleship: move our teaching outside the walls of the classroom or bring the outside into our teaching.

Everything from our terminology to our practice needs to be challenged if we are going to connect with people in this culture. Have you noticed what’s different? Sitting through a lecture is taboo while active learning is ubiquitous. The mindset of modernism is waning while the preoccupation with postmodernism is seizing its day in secular society. Technology is advancing; advertisements are shouting; attention spans are diminishing; commitments are flailing.

These changes could spell crisis for the church that is unwilling to acknowledge their influence. On the other hand, opportunity awaits those who would engage these challenges.

So let’s not make the mistake of binding the concept of education (or discipleship) to that which happens in the confines of chairs and rows and walls. Our Teacher taught us better than that. While traditional education has an important place in this culture and has influenced the formation of many people, there is more to discipleship than Bible class.

What aspects of spiritual formation (discipleship) are best taught inside and outside of a classroom setting?

Prepare to Grow Offers Small Group Lessons

I wanted to highlight some small group material done by a good friend of mine Houston Heflin. Houston knows a lot about education and ministry and has developed several series of lessons. His website is called Prepare to Grow. Below are links to some samples of each of his lesson series.

(Download Sample lesson from Exodus: Bound to Freedom Series)

(Download Sample lesson from Psalms of Great Faith Series)

(Download Sample lesson from Colossians: Life with Christ Series)

If any of these are of interest to you feel free to visit Houston’s site. Thanks to Houston for permission to post this information and links to his sample curriculum.

List of Small Group Resources

This is a copy of the Small Group Resources from the top of Kingdom Living. What links would you add that you have found helpful for small groups?

Small Group Curriculum:

Prepare to Grow offers lessons on a variety of topics and books of the Bible.

Lessons by me (Book of Acts, Prayer, Ministry of Jesus)
– Feel free to use any of our lessons from Northwest. If you decide to use them I would love to hear about it and any feedback you might have.

University Church of Christ – Passing on the Essentials Series & A Study of Moses
– I am not certain if they have any reservations against using these lessons.

Alameda Church of Christ Lessons
– They have plenty of other resources on LIFE groups as well.

Small Group Related Websites
Northwest Church of Christ
– If you are a small group director and have trouble getting attendance each week have a look at our online attendance form and try that out in your ministry. It has worked great for us and has eliminated a lot of headaches.
WebMinister’s Church Growth Articles

House Church Resource
College Hills Church of Christ List of Small Group Resources

Small Group Related Blogs
Bill Donahue – Willow Creek