Friday, May 21, 2010
Try This Exercise to Know Your Audience Better
Sometimes we Bible teachers are called to teach a group that we've not met, nor spent time with, nor with whom we have any familiarity. So we pray and ask God for direction, and trust that because He loves these people and cares for their edification, God will direct us and use what we teach to help them.
But most of the time we are teaching people we know, at least to some degree. My challenge to you: get to know them MUCH better.
Here's a suggested approach. Take three sheets of paper. Label the sheets: FEARS DESIRES PROBLEMS
For each sheet, try to write out ten items in that category for the people you're teaching. What are ten fears (spoken and unspoken) that grip them? What are ten desires that drive them? What are ten problems they face? Keep in mind that not everyone will have all ten fears, for example -- you're trying to figure out a list of ten fears that will be representative of the group.
Going through this process will significantly improve your sense of their needs. Most teachers who try this report that they had insights from the Lord that shaped their ideas for lesson content and how to present "old" truths in new ways.
Next step: tuck these three sheets away and mark on your calendar to review them in 3 months. You'll have new items for the lists by then. Once you get to know your audience better, the more you'll learn about them going forward.
Keep on teaching to change lives.