In your preparation, you encountered God in His Word, and out of the overflow of your encounter you want to lead your group to meet God in His Word and be changed. You are eager to tell them everything they need to know. But is there a way to make lecture better? How can you ensure they will understand and be more likely to apply and live out what the encounter in His Word?
Adding Methods to Lecture
- Good questions. Asking good questions engages listeners. Avoid questions with yes/no or one-word answers. Questions can be verbally asked or written on the board. They may be intentionally interspersed in a lecture.
- Discussion. Involving the group in talking about the scripture helps attenders own what they are learning. This moves them toward an encounter with God in His Word that will move them toward life change.
- Small groups. In a group larger than six, outer thinkers tend to dominate questions and discussion. But in small groups (2-5), inner thinkers (needing time to think) are able to process what they learn and participate in the conversation.
- Visual aids. Intentionally increasing sensory input related to the lesson appeals to those with different learning styles and can increase attention and retention. Add maps, pictures, video, etc. related to the lesson.
- Reports. Break up lecture by asking a group member to share a report of some research you assigned. The member might even be absent but share by Zoom, video, or written report.
- Homework. At the end of the lesson, give the group an assignment. It could be scripture to read or a question to answer. It will increase interest and preparation.
- Preview. Before you lecture, help the group understand what the lesson is about and why it is important. Doing so helps them listen purposefully. Remember to keep preview short.
- Review. After you lecture, summarizing the points of the lesson and why it was important helps increase retention. Another way to do this is asking questions.
- Write the outline. Sharing the lesson (or scripture) outline helps the group know what is coming and to connect it to what they have already learned. The outline can be detailed (typed out and copied) or only major points (on the board).
- Handout. A handout can be an outline, homework, small group discussion guide, key questions, fill in the blank, and more. Using a handout adds another sensory input and often increases attention and retention.
Make Lecture Better
In no way am I encouraging you to use all ten ways in a lecture. Intentionally adding one or more of the ways can spice up that lecture. Used at the right moments, in the right ways, it can help the group remember the point of the lecture (and more importantly the scripture) longer. If attention is higher, the group is more likely to remember and apply what they learn.
Which of the ten do you already use? Which of them appear to fit your group best? I believe that passages in God’s Word often lend themselves to specific methods. So listen to the Spirit.
As you prepare to teach this week, ask God to guide you in choosing additional ways to spice up your lecture. Good teaching curriculum often contains many of these ways of making lecture better. I would also recommend paying attention to the response of your group when you use any of these ways. To get the best picture, try to use these ways more than one time. Make your lecture even better this week. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!