Object Lessons for Adults?

We often think of object lessons as a teaching method to use with children. Yet, if you think about it, Jesus, the Master Teacher, used objects in His teaching which focused primarily on adults.

The basics of presenting an object lesson are the same when using them with children or adults so the Tips for Using Object Lessons Worksheet could apply to teachers of both children and adults.

While the basics are the same, here’s a word of caution when using object lessons with adults:

Don’t insult their intelligence.

Yet, don’t over-complicate it thinking that you must “get deeper” with adults. Do not equate deep with complicated, over-detailed, or going in too many directions. Object lessons, whether for children or adults, should be simple and teach one main truth

Most books with object lesson ideas are geared to children. Just look under resources on the Object Lessons Teacher Training Resources page and you will see what I mean. Some of the ideas in the books geared to children or youth could work with adults with a few tweaks but if you allow yourself to think even just a little bit creatively, you can probably come up with some of your own ideas.

  1. Develop the lesson content first and then look around you for objects that might help illustrate it. Guard against building your lesson content around an object.
  1. Think of when it would be most appropriate to use an object. An object lesson, especially for adults, does not have to consume the entire lesson.
Light Shines in DarknessPerhaps it could be used to hook their attention as you introduce the lesson.Think of how a candle can be used to introduce a lesson related to lifestyle evangelism.
Chair to Illustrate FaithOr, perhaps it would work well to illustrate a truth within the lesson.Think about how a chair can be used to illustrate faith.

2 Replies to “Object Lessons for Adults?”

  1. Dearly Beloved, Please I will to know or see any lecture on using a chair in teaching children bible lessons. Am having challenges on that. Thank you and God Bless.

    • Hello, Emmanuel Chibuzo. The idea behind using a chair to illustrate faith is that there are many things in life, like a chair, that we trust will do what it is supposed to do. When we sit on a chair, we usually don’t think, “Will this hold me?” Chairs are made to be sat on. If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, why can’t we trust Him to do what He is able to do? Unlike a chair that on rare occasion could break when you sit on it, God will never fail.

      One of the challenges in using object lessons with children is that they cannot be too abstract. Children, especially younger children, have a hard time thinking symbolically. They are concrete thinkers, meaning that they think literally. They have a hard time making the connection from an abstract or symbolic concept to their current reality. This post that references the use of a chair to illustrate faith is about object lessons for adults. If using it with children, you must be careful that they are able to understand the meaning. God is not a chair. We do not literally sit on God.

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