Teaching a little better

A couple weeks ago my wife shared her story of conflict growing up. She did an awesome job. She shared a few appropriate details, filled in some of the blanks and revealed a bit of her heart. There were tears by her, myself and others. Story has that kind of impact. The simple truth spoken is memorable. People don’t quickly forget it. This is just a testimony of how powerful story is.

I kind of laugh when I think how quickly we forget what we’re taught. I’ll spend a bunch of time getting a lesson ready and most folks smile nicely and then forget what the point was. What’s worse I have forgotten on Tuesday what I so passionately taught on Sunday. Maybe I’m not teaching so well. The proof of this is my conversation with Larry today about our lesson, now ten days ago. He remembered much of what Helen had shared. …I wonder if he could tell me what I delivered this weekend? He was still impacted over a week ago.

So how do you increase the memorability of a lesson? I believe if it’s remembered you have a stronger chance of impacting and discipling your hearers. Clearly from what I’ve written above, painting our life’s story for others accomplishes this memorability.

Here’s another way in a classroom setting. Use a case study. These are short stories or accounts. They can be a bit vague in terms of how your group will react to them. Done well, a case study will push people to make value judgements or to argue over how to apply godly wisdom in this situation. They are memorable because your group will get into the details and issue of the story and be drawn into making a decision one way or the other.

It’s at that point that you are able to bring up biblical truth. You may have a few texts ready to give. You may also allow your group to defend their values and decisions with the Bible. I’ll be doing one this Sunday. Later this week I’ll upload this case study for an example.

Just maybe I’ll teach a little better.

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