Using Your Head for Creative Teaching Aids

by Dale Fisher


I thank God that he's given me a creative mind and a love for object lessons to use in teaching. My mind was cranking while preparing to teach in Kenya last month the four main roles of a leader. I figured that each role is like a hat that a person wears; the hats can be switched according to the needs of the team.

For the role of "direction setter," I chose a sea captain's hat, because the captain sets the direction the ship is to go. I really wanted to buy an admiral's hat, but because they cost a few hundred dollars, I settled for a captain's hat.

Wearing a captain's hat suggests a leader who sets direction.

Wearing a captain's hat suggests a leader who sets direction.





One Kenyan pastor in particular got a kick out of wearing  his paper hat.I guessed that the pastors whom I was training wouldn't be able to buy such a hat, so I remembered that a World War One British-Navy captain's hat could be folded easily from a piece of newspaper. So I taught the pastors how to fold a paper hat that they could use when they taught this lesson to their second-generation leaders. In America, most children learn how to fold paper hats as a kid. Apparently that isn't so in Kenya; these pastors had a great time learning how to fold a paper hat for the first time. We all had a big laugh when we put on our paper hats.

Pastors enjoyed making paper hats, but didn't wear them after the class ended.

Pastors enjoyed making paper hats, but didn't wear them after the class ended.





For the role of "spokesperson" or "ambassador," I bought an actual ambassador's hat. It was appreciated, but we agreed that they could just use any other hat that they already owned to illustrate this role.

Dale demonstrates how a spokesperson or ambassador
is represented while wearing this exotic hat.

Dale demonstrates how a spokesperson or ambassador
is represented while wearing this exotic hat.





For the role of "mentor" and/or "coach," it was easy to select a baseball cap as the appropriate hat. I bought an Los Angeles A's cap; on its back, Marti ironed on four letters to finish off the word "COACH." God also provided a gift baseball cap for every person at the training. They liked them so much that they wore them during the rest of the conference.

A coach or mentor is to wear a baseball hat.

A coach or mentor is to wear a baseball hat.


Marti incorporated the pre-existing letter 'A' into the= the  word 'coach.'

Marti incorporated the pre-existing letter "A" into the word COACH.


The pastors loved their baseball caps so much that
they continued to wear them after the class ended.

The pastors loved their baseball caps so much that
they continued to wear them after the class ended.





For the role of "change agent," a hard hat seemed best to me, because where people wear hard hats, change is always happening. Also I learned that people working in different occupations would wear differently colored hard hats: welders wear brown hats, safety inspectors wear green hats, road crews wear orange hats, and ladies often wear pink hats. Because managers, foremen, and supervisors wear white hard hats, I chose white hats for the leaders I was training.


A person wearing a hard hat represents an agent of change.
Dale's daughter Anna made the three decals on his hard hat.

A person wearing a hard hat represents an agent of change.
Dale's daughter Anna made the three decals on his hard hat.


Two shots of Dale facing himself: Dale (left) placed the TLM logo on one side of this hat, which is the movement name known by most in the world. On the right, he put SEND, which is what a Kenyan denomination that TLM works with call its training program.

Dale (left) placed the TLM logo on one side of this hat, which is the movement name known by most in the world. On the right, he put SEND, which is what a Kenyan denomination that TLM works with call its training program.





I represented three additional leadership skills by: (1) throwing or casting a net for "vision casting"; (2) using a bobblehead of a Los Angeles A's baseball player for "motivation"; and (3) lining up with all of our noses pointing in the same direction to characterize "aligning." These final three photos highlight each of those skills.


Dale presents a vision-casting net to the pastors.

1. Dale presents a vision-casting net to the pastors.


This bobblehead highlighted a pastor's motivational skill.

2. This bobblehead highlighted a pastor's motivational skill.


To emphasize the skill of alignment for leaders, Dale and the pastor
lined themselves up with their noes pointing in the same direction.

3. To emphasize the skill of alignment for leaders, Dale and the pastor
lined themselves up with their noes pointing in the same direction.





I did my best to skillfully teach our pastors about the roles and skills of a leader. I found that visual aids really help keep their attention, as well as make the content easier to remember. The pastors now need to practice leadership roles and skills in their various churches.