3 Tips for Teaching Adults

Tips for Bible Teaching
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The same three Bible teaching tips I gave for teachers of preschool children are the ones I also list here for teachers of adult classes. No, I’m not saying we treat adults like children. While the tips themselves might be generic, their application changes based on the age you teach.

1) Have the right focus.

Adults are concerned about how they can contribute to family, church, community, and the world in meaningful and impactful ways. They want their lives to count, to make a difference. Consequently, Bible teachers of adult students need to focus on building legacies through the practical outworking of their faith.

2) Be prepared for challenges.

Because adults are busy trying to care for families and other responsibilities, it can be hard for them to take time for nurturing their own souls. Bible teachers of adult classes must work at convincing their students that in order for them to truly have something worthwhile to offer others, they need to take the time to attend to their own spiritual needs.

3) Foster an environment conducive to learning.

When adults do take time to come away from the busyness of life, make it a hiatus for them … a welcomed time-out from the stress and noise of life. A peaceful, relaxed, comfortable environment could be what they need to be able to open their hearts and minds and focus on how God’s Word relates to their goals and ambitions.

3 Tips for Teaching Teens (Youth)

Tips for Bible Teaching
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When thinking about tips for teaching youth, I would have to use the same three tips given for all other ages. Reaching teens especially demonstrates how truly ministering to students requires teachers go beyond mere methodology and biblical content.

1) Have the right focus.

Relationships are critical at all ages, but are particularly important at this time in life. Teens need to know that they are truly loved, each individually for who they are. They need to feel affirmed, as though they matter, that they are truly being heard, not just being told what to do or what they need to know. Consequently, Bible teachers of teenage students need to focus on building relationships. For more read: The Focus of Youth Ministry

2) Be prepared for challenges.

Young people want their needs met and will often do just about anything for that to happen. Bible teachers of teens must work hard at identifying those needs and providing a palpable, godly alternative to how those needs are met. When that happens, Bible learning becomes relevant to them, something that will get their attention. For more read: Young People Need Relevance (Follow the links in the ‘Related Posts’ for how they also need realness, relationship, reasons, and renewal.)

3) Foster an environment conducive to learning.

As already mentioned, youth need to sense that they are accepted not only by you but by their peer as well. Build a positive, community-based atmosphere, full of both grace and truth, where they don’t feel beat up when they fail. For more read: A Place Youth Want to Be and A Place Youth Don’t Want to Be

3 Tips for Teaching Grade School Students

Tips for Bible Teaching
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As we look at each of the four broad age levels, we will see that the same three tips relate to all. Yet, as this post for Bible teachers of grade school students will show, the application of the tips varies as we zero in on their age characteristics and needs.

1) Have the right focus.

As students move into their grade school years they are able to better comprehend what is being taught. Now they need to buy into it in terms of their own personal belief system. It’s not about brainwashing them but helping them personally accept God’s truth. Consequently, Bible teachers of grade school students should focus on building a biblical worldview that can stand up to scrutiny.

2) Be prepared for challenges.

While all ages need to be actively involved in the acquisition of a biblical worldview, this is a particularly industrious age. Grade school Bible teachers must learn to work at actively and meaningfully engaging their students in the learning process from start to finish. Even transitional times between activities must be purposefully designed. Idle minds and hands, even for a short period of time, can spell trouble as they will quickly find inappropriate ways to keep active.

3) Foster an environment conducive to learning.

Grade school students not only need to participate in the learning process but it also needs to be fun, or at least interesting. That means teachers must keep students active with more than mere busywork. They need an environment that is exciting and fulfilling.

3 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers

Tips for Bible Teaching
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The three tips for teaching relate to Bible teachers of all age levels. Here, however, we want to consider their specific application when teaching preschoolers.

1) Have the right focus.

Early childhood classes provide opportunity for laying a foundation in these young lives on which they will build in future years. Preschoolers may not be able to understand deep, spiritual truths, but they do begin to grasp who God is and what Church is about. Consequently, Bible teachers of preschoolers should focus on building positive attitudes toward God and His Church.

2) Be prepared for challenges.

One of the biggest challenges teachers of preschoolers will face is their attention span. If you figure no more than one minute of attention for every year, you know that you will have a difficult time both getting and keeping their attention. Early childhood teachers must learn to work within their attention span and not expect them to sit still and listen to a lengthy prayer or Bible story. Activities must be kept short with much repetition throughout the session.

3) Foster an environment conducive to learning.

To help preschoolers build positive attitudes toward God and His Church, the classroom needs to be warm and inviting. And, it must feel safe. They must feel like they are being well-taken care of as they are separated from their primary caretakers.