What if a teaching method could train more teachers? What if every lesson gave attenders practice on parts of teaching? What if attenders at the conclusion of a lesson believed they could teach next week?
In Part 1 I asked, “What if I could suggest a Sunday School lesson method which will increase involvement/participation, retention (remembering), evangelism, and preparation of new teachers? Would you be interested in the method?” In Part 2, I overviewed steps of the Bible story telling method and pointed out times which increase involvement and participation. In Part 3, I shared how the method improves and increases retention (remembering) of the Bible teaching and truth. In Part 4, I shared ways this method increases the potential for reaching out and evangelism. In Part 5(the final part of this series),
MOMENTS OF OPPORTUNITY. There are several times and ways in which this method of story telling the Bible trains members and potential teacher. Consider the following:
- REVIEW. Ask what the scripture story was about last week. Ask what the truth or point of the story was. Then ask what they did to live out the truth. This reinforces the fact that you are expecting more than knowledge gain. Not everyone may participate, but several will. [The teacher can give this job away.]
- PRAYER. Focus this prayer upon help for listening and focusing on God and His word. Ask God to help you to hear and apply scripture to your life. You may want to call on someone in the class to pray this prayer, but emphasize that the prayer is to ask God to help you listen to Him and His Word. [The teacher can give this job away.]
- INTRODUCTION. Get the attention of those in the class. Help them shift toward thinking about the session, truth, and passage. This can be done by helping them understand the context for the story. It can be done by asking them to listen for an answer to a question. It can be done in many ways, but help them prepare to listen. [This will be difficult for the teacher to give away early enough.]
- STORY. Tell the story. Do not read it. Do not memorize it. Tell it as accurately as possible. Practice telling it (out loud) with emphasis, gestures, and emotion where appropriate. This won’t take as long as you think. Ask someone to check you as you practice. Look at everyone in the room as you share the story. Done well, storytelling will capture the imagination as well. [The teacher should give this job away after three or four weeks.]
- REBUILD. As review and to reinforce the story, ask what happened first. Then what happened next. And so on through the whole story. Don’t tell them; get them to tell you. If they get something out of order, ask what happened before that. Make sure the story is rebuilt sequentially with nothing left out. Done well, this can get lots involved. In fact, work to avoid the same one or two doing all the responding. [The teacher should give this job away after a couple of weeks.]
- QUESTIONS. There are several key questions which should be asked here. Consider these: Who are the main characters? What do we learn about them? What do we learn about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit in the story. This one is important: To which character in the story do you most relate, and why? (Try to get everyone who is willing to share an answer to this question, even if they have to do so in small groups.) What does God want you to do as a result of the story? What will you commit to do? Again, done well, questions can get nearly everyone involved. [The teacher can give this job away by providing a set of standard questions. And the teacher can always add to the questions.]
- POINT TO SCRIPTURE. When someone asks a question that you cannot answer, ask the group. Or more importantly, ask them what the passage says. Keep focused on the passage. If other scripture is appropriate, feel free to share it. But look for answers in God’s Word rather than personal opinions. [The teacher can give this job away by encouraging the class to do this.]
If you give these jobs away in small installments over the weeks, eventually nearly everyone in the class will have experience and confidence. And the feedback from the class when they do these jobs will encourage them to try again. In nearly every class, new teachers will step forward.
Pray. Prepare well. Give God your best. Tell the Bible story. Use this method, and come back to this post with a report of the response of your group. Or ask questions or share your comments. Give God your best effort in leading His people to know and live out His Word! Train more teachers and release them into the harvest. Be revolutionary!