The best curriculum piece Lifeway has ever produced.  

Lifeway has a new curriculum piece, and you are going to love it. It is called Quicksource. It makes preparation easy for you and makes the lessons interesting to the students. It nearly guarantees half-way decent teaching.

Wise teachers know that students learn in different ways. Some are more verbal, some more visual. Some people can learn by hearing. Others need to touch and feel or discuss and do. Some need to see. This piece provides opportunities for all kinds of learners. Specifically, it provides the following:

  • Something to talk about
  • Something to touch and feel and see
  • Something to do

Let's talk about each of these and why each is important to learning.

Something to talk about

I have long held that the best way to teach adults is through what is classically called the Socratic method (named after Socrates)--question and answer. There is nothing more interesting or life-changing than a good conversation.

I have been writing questions of my own for years that I post on this web site. The exact address is www.joshhunt.com/sunday-school.htm

Here are some of the kinds of questions I use when I prepare my lessons. (These are discussed in more detail in the video series Disciplemaking Teachers.)

The Life Exposure Question.

Example: let's each share our name and our favorite national park that you have visited.

Sunday school is not just about getting to know the Bible; it is also about getting to know each other. Don't spend too long on this, but a few minutes introducing yourselves is a great way to get started.

What does the text say?

What are three qualities of great teaching mentioned in Acts 18.25.

Acts 18:25: He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately.

We have to know what the text says before we can understand what it means. People are incredibly ignorant about what the Bible actually says.

What does the text mean?

Does anyone know what is meant by the term perdition?

"While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:12 [KJV]

I will always know the answer to these questions. Sunday School is not about pooled ignorance. But, it is inherently more interesting to let someone from the group answer.

How did they feel?

Example: How did the prodigal son feel as he approached the father near the end of the story?

It is the emotional connection that makes the truth come alive. How was Jesus feeling as he cast out the money-changers? How were they feeling? How would you have felt had you been a bystander?

Jump-ball question

Example: Is it easy or hard to live the Christian life?

Verse #1: For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30 [NIV]

Verse #2: "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22 [NIV]

Have half the group look up one verse and the other half the other. Truth is often a mid-point between two extremes. We are oh-too-guilty of giving people Sunday School answers--oversimplifications to complex truth. The Bible is not easy. What we need to give people are questions--hard questions--that shake up their safe religion and their safe view of God.

Application question

Example: What are five ways we could apply this verse: "Husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together."
1 Peter 3:7 [NLT]

What are the benefits?

Example: what are the benefits to you of honoring your wife?

I hold the fundamental conviction that it is always in our best interest to live the Christian life over the long haul.

What will it cost you if you don't?

Example: what might not treasuring your wife cost you?

People naturally do what they believe to be in their best interest. As they come to understand it is in their best interest to live the Christian life, living the life becomes much easier.

Commitment question

Example: Would you join me in recommitting our life to Christ and to being obedient to His command to "rejoice in the Lord always"?

Every sermon drives to the invitation, and every good teaching drives to the moment of commitment.

Where do you find good questions? One place is online at http://www.joshhunt.com/sunday-school.htm. Another is with the Serendipity Bible.

Another is on the new www.mybiblestudy.com . Another is by using Quicksource.

 

Something to touch and feel

Jesus often talked using stuff that you can touch and feel. Learning increases exponentially as multiple senses are involved.

I was teaching once on the story of the woman caught in adultery. At one point I said, "Imagine you are in the crowd that day. People start wandering through the crowd handing out stones." At the point, I had cued a number of the youth to do just that--hand out rocks. I had gotten some rocks from a landscaping company and had everyone hold a rock as we talked through the rest of the story. It was a memorable experience.

We know that kids like stuff that you can touch and feel. They are nearly always used in children's sermons. A boat, a stuffed animal, or something as simple as a piece of paper is an object lesson used to teach most children's messages.

Newsflash: adults respond to stuff that you can touch and feel as well.

I listen to audio sermons from many of the nation's fast growing churches. I find they often bring something on the stage that you can touch and feel and see.

Where do you get ideas for this kind of thing? You say you are not creative enough to come up with stuff? Quicksource can help you.

Something to do

Something to write, sing, or say. A form to fill out. Write an email to God. Imagine you got an email from God. Write down what you think he might say to you. Fill out this form. Take these digital cameras. Go out in groups and take a picture of something you could praise God for. When you come back, we will view the pictures on a projector and talk how each object can help us to worship God.

Jesus didn't just talk to his disciples. He sent them out. He knew they learned by doing.

Quicksource can help you with this. Every week there are several ideas on how you can involve the class in doing.

 

We can take America for God by giving the ministry to laymen who are using their gifts to grow their groups to double their classes every two years or less. We can do it, but we have to have at least half-way decent teaching each and every week, nothing less will do. by using these three approaches, you can teach more than a half-way decent lesson:

  • Something to talk about
  • Something to touch and feel
  • Something to do.