Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Jesus is the Best Teacher Ever

Who would be the best teacher ever?  Jesus.  And if anyone would
understand how to get a message across, how to help people
recognize God, how to engage people and help them learn, it would
be Jesus!   He created us, right?  He knows how we're wired,
what we need, how to connect with us.

So I spent about two months studying the Gospels, looking for
clues about how Jesus taught.  I believe the Holy Spirit helped
me see it clearly, how to teach like Jesus.

Here's the big idea: Jesus Taught Using Questions, Story, and
Dialogue Because These Are the Most Effective Ways to Help People
Learn - Really Learn.

Many "traditional" methods of teaching have limited
effectiveness.  One friend of mine calls it the "line 'em up,
spray 'em down with gobs of information, and pray some of it
sticks" approach to Bible teaching.

You and I both know that isn't good enough!

If you examine Jesus' teaching approach you'll see that:

* He didn't host opinion-fests; He taught with a purpose

* His approach was effective for all ages, and for all
theological backgrounds

* He asked questions, told stories, helped people understand
things through dialogue.  He was truly present with people,
engaging them in deep dialogue (No "how's the weather?" conversations)

* His teaching was strictly oral - but so effective because he
painted pictures in people's minds through imagery and use of
visual illustrations.

* He didn't give people three-point outlines and lists

* He referred to Scriptures frequently, helped them understand
the meaning

* He got to the heart of issues, and the real issue behind the
apparent issue. Jesus understood a person's history, fears,
desires, and experiences -- and bridged from those to
experiencing God.

* He gave people what they needed at the moment, but not
everything at once

* His stories had enormous "sticking" power - and they were deep
enough that people continued to learn from them years later.

* He taught with authority. He never taught with arrogance, but
with compassion and grace.

* He never compromised on the Truth.

* He used words to break-through barriers and to build up, but
never as weapons.

You might be thinking right now, "But Glenn, Jesus is special,
He's God.  I couldn't teach like He did!"

How does your teaching compare to Jesus?  Ok, you and I are  not
equal to our Lord - but He made a promise to us that we should
take seriously:

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his
master.  It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and
the servant like his master." (Matthew 10:24-25)

Did you catch it - it's enough for us to teach *like* Jesus did.


What About YOU?  Can You Teach the Jesus Way?

The answer is YES.  This is my conviction.  You need some
guidance, and can learn through practice.  This Jesus way of
teaching is "advanced" in some ways - but accessible even to newer
teachers and study leaders.  These are learnable skills!

And I'm confident that you can learn this Jesus way of teaching
using questions, story, and dialogue.

Is this the only way to teach?  No.  But didactic, linear, lists
and outlines teaching methods are more effective with a subset
of students -- people who are motivated to learn in that format.
But how many of those things do you remember years later?

Compare that to the meaningful conversations you've had with
another person.  Which has been more influential in transforming
your life?

Can you learn to teach the Jesus way if you're accustomed to
teaching other ways?  That's up to you.  I believe you have the
potential, I really do.  And I'm prepared to help you through the
learning process.

2 comments:

Nikki said...
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cyrus said...
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