Bible Teachers Need to Incorporate Variety into Lessons

Why don’t teachers use more variety in their methodology?

Click image to learn more about the Sharpening Your Bible Teaching Methods Resource with help using 57 different methods.

Click image to learn about the Sharpening Your Bible Teaching Methods Resource for help using 57 different methods.

Sometimes teachers repeatedly use the same method due to ignorance. They aren’t aware of all the possibilities.

Often a lack of variety is a reflection of teachers’ insecurities and fear of trying something new. They feel safe teaching the way they know.

Unfortunately some teachers are stuck in a rut purposefully due to laziness. They don’t want to take the time to learn something new. They don’t want to put in the extra effort to use a more involved method.

Help is available for Bible teachers to step out and try new methods.

  1. Ask God for help.
  2. Get acquainted with possible methods.
  3. Practice using the methods in private or with some trusted friends.
  4. Pray some more.
  5. Step out in faith, trusting God to help you.

You will notice in the above steps that God is brought into the process. While we need to be faithful stewards in teaching, without God even the most skillful teacher using a great amount of variety will lack eternal effect. Remember Jesus’ words in John 15:5 — “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

6 Ways for Bible Teachers to Engage Students

Engage Students in the Learning ProcessPeople learn the best when they are actively involved. Bible teachers must therefore be encouraged to engage students mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The more their whole being is engaged in the learning process, the more likely they will be to learn.

Tips to Pass Along to Teachers for Engaging Students in the Learning Process

1) Ask students questions and allow them to ask questions. The key is to get students thinking. Mentally passive students are not engaging.

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2) Get the class talking among themselves about the truths being learned. Using discussion pulls students in socially and increases the potential for engaging.

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3) Target more than their sense of hearing. Use visuals to help students process the auditory instruction. Hearing alone does little to engage students. The more of the physical senses engaged, the more students will learn.

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4) Use a variety of different kinds methods within a lesson. Seek to employ methods that would engage the various learning styles.

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5) Always show the relevancy to their lives. Students will be less likely to engage if they have no interest in the subject. Unmotivated students are not engaging.

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6) Pray, pray, and pray some more for both your teaching and the students’ reception of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit can convict, convince, motivate, and otherwise engage students in ways even the best Bible teacher never could.

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Getting Adults to Personally Study God’s Word

Adults Personally Study God's Word

A friend shared her experience with me about spending time in God’s Word.

She was saved at the age of four during Vacation Bible School. Though she later went to Bible college and attended good Bible believing churches where she was told that she should be spending personal time in God’s Word, she could never get herself to consistently study the Bible on her own until she was in her 40’s.

What made the difference?

Her motivation changed. Before she was driven by guilt of what she ought to do and wanting to be like other people she considered to be spiritual. When she finally grasped that it was more about getting to know her heavenly Father, a passion began to grow within her for God’s Word. The more that relationship developed, the more she WANTED to study the Bible.

Lessons We Can Learn About Adults Getting into the Word.

The experience of my friend teaches us at least two lessons:

  1. Spiritual maturity does not necessarily correlate with physical age or even the length of time one has been saved.

My friend trusted in Jesus for her salvation when she was four years old. It wasn’t until she was a middle-aged adult that she so much wanted to get to know God and nurture her relationship with Him that she began to consistently study His Word. The more she got into the Word, the greater her love for God grew. The stronger that relationship became, the deeper she would get into the Word. The more time she spent in the meat of God’s Word, the more she grew into a Christ-like believer.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:13-14)

  1. No matter how old a person is, or how long they have been saved, it is never too late to begin. But, that’s the key — they must begin.

My friend was in her forties when she began. Twenty years later she is still daily communing with God in His Word. Why? — Because SHE BEGAN the journey.

I had another senior adult friend who kept saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I would tell her that number one, she was not a dog but rather a person created in the image of God to be able relate with Him on a personal level. And, number two, she had the Holy Spirit within her to enable her to learn new disciplines. One’s age and long established patterns should not hold a person back from beginning.

Bible Teachers can Help Their Adult Students WANT TO get into the Word

Help them get to know the author of the Bible so their thirst to know Him even better grows. (Phil. 3:7-12)

Because they are adults who are supposed to have longer attention spans than children, you might be tempted to think teaching them is about getting as much content in as you can. If you don’t make it about getting to know the God behind the truths, you will do little to whet their appetite for getting better acquainted with Him on their own.

Help them value the authority and usefulness of the Bible so they see the pragmatic benefit of getting into the Word. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Adults are not an authority to themselves. Their life experiences do not qualify them to know more than the Almighty God. His ways are always higher and better (Isa. 55:9) and will provide the guidance they need to navigate through life (Ps. 119:105). If they don’t accept this reality, they will not sense the need to learn from His Word.

Help them rid themselves of their excuses so they can tap into the motivation and power needed to consistently get into the Word. (2 Cor. 10:5)

Adults can get stuck in their ways. They can be resistant to change. They have learned the art of making excuses. If they don’t begin the journey of getting to know God better through His Word, they will miss out on so much of the good God has for them.

Once they let go of their excuses, you can meet them where they are and help them begin small, always remembering to emphasize the above two points. Help them find a way of studying the Word that fits them so they at least start the process of getting to know God. As their passion for Him grows, they will be more willing to be stretched to approach the Word in ways that take them even further.

Tips for Dealing with Issues About Halloween

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Halloween can be controversial and even divisive among Christians. In the same church you might find people who totally oppose having anything to do with it and those who are absolutely fine with it. You might also have people somewhere in between who want to try to redeem the holiday by using it for outreach or those who believe we simply need to be careful and wise in our choices. Bible teachers therefore need to be sensitive to the different views toward Halloween.

Tips for Bible Teachers at Halloween:

  1. Acknowledge that people have different views about Halloween and don’t try to push your own position on your students.

More: Views on Christians Celebrating Halloween

  1. Use it as a time to teach about how to handle personal convictions.

More: Halloween Alternatives? Join In? Totally Reject?

  1. Take advantage of teachable moments as students talk about things related to Halloween … like the difference between truth and fiction, good versus evil, etc.

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  1. If you want to celebrate Halloween in some fashion with your class, first talk with church leadership and then with parents of children, to make sure what you want to do will not become a major issue and undo the spiritual good built up through the year. Remember your purpose as a Bible teacher. Is what you want to do worth it?

More: Halloween Ministry Resources