Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Address the Real Issues with Authentic, Biblical Lessons
There's an enormous temptation -- fueled in part by well-meaning advocates -- to keep your lessons light and non-threatening and fun (and of course relevant to people's felt needs). One teacher shared with me his Pastor's firm instruction: "They should feel good about themselves when they leave."
I believe your lessons should be engaging, and relevant, and meaningful. They need to be true to Scripture, authentic to the message of the Gospel. They need to address the real needs of people, whether they "feel good about themselves" or not. Your lessons must have genuine spiritual content if you're going to see lives changed by the power of God's Word being used by the Holy Spirit!
Even curious not-yet-believers in your church or small group or neighborhood Bible study are curious about what the Bible really says, not just a feel-good lessonette that they could get from Oprah on TV. (Side note: you say you don't have not-yet-believers in your class? Why not? Whom could you invite?) Down deep, you'll have better retention of people over time if you challenge them, not coddle them.
In the end, in truth, it doesn't matter what people want. There is sin. People need the Savior.
Teach the Bible to change lives!