As a church leader you will know that for a new thing to be successful everyone has to be moving in the same direction: united in heart and working together towards the same thing. Of course the hard part is getting people there, especially if its something that can seem un-glamorous like local mission.
This is where facilitators come in; people who can provide leadership and direction without taking the reigns. They are people who can make sure that even the quiet voices are heard and that consensus is built.
Facilitators are crucial to Tearfund’s development work overseas. They are the people guiding the process, bringing clarity, direction and unity.
In our work overseas, each facilitator is local to the community, listens well and can build relationships with people from all walks of life. Without them the whole process simply would not work. The same is true for you here in the UK. For local mission to work as best it can we think you need people guiding but not driving the process; empowering your church to make decisions together and to own long term, the ideas that come from them.
It’s not teaching
Facilitation is a fundamentally different approach to teaching; it’s is encouraging all members of a group to participate so that they achieve something together. Teaching often involves the sharing of information from teacher to student. Facilitation is encouraging the sharing of information in several directions – to all learn together and from each other.
There's a wealth of information about facilitation skills readily available online, and to help you get thinking about who your facilitator could be, we have put together a facilitator job profile, tips on what makes a good facilitator and some advice for the person who takes on the role...