Since communication at its best requires a mutual exchange, Bible teachers who want to effectively communicate God’s Word must get beyond mere transmission of information to engaging students in the process. Methodology will in large part determine the level of engagement.
Choose Engaging Methodology
Seek to engage as many senses in learning as possible. God made us to learn best when we use all of our senses. Hearing alone yields the least amount of learning and retention.
Look for student-oriented methods, not just teacher-oriented methods, like lecture. Student-oriented methods give students opportunity to express themselves and open the door to two-way communication whereas teacher-oriented methods primary promote one-way communication.
Rather than spoon-feed students what they need to know, encourage them to think on their own, which you can do by asking lots of questions, giving them time to research, or providing time for discussion as a class.
The Best Communicators Use Engaging Methodology Even in a Large Group
While it might be tempting to think you can only use lecture with a large group of students, that isn’t true. You can use a variety of ways to let everyone respond, even if it is simply by a raise of hands or holding up a colored paper to indicate their response. Students can turn to a neighbor to respond or gather in small groups to discuss an issue or work on a project. And, they can rotate through learning centers that provide lots of opportunity to get engaged.
If teaching a large class, take time to think through what you can do to make the session more engaging. With a little creativity and effort, any session can be turned into a more interactive, engaging experience.
The Sharpening Your Bible Teaching Methods provides help using 57 different methods. It also includes charts to help you choose methods based on a variety of elements including methods according to how they might be categorized as either impressional (teacher-oriented), expressional (student-oriented), and group interactive (group-oriented).