It is not enough to teach what Jesus taught; we must teach how Jesus taught. Jesus taught in such a way as to turn the world upside down.
Jesus didn’t have an outreach program. He didn’t do marketing. He didn’t contact absentees. He didn’t seem to worry about attendance. And yet they came. Boy, did they come.
I have spent the last 12 years crisscrossing the country telling groups how they can double every two years or less. Occasionally I visit classes. Often, they are good, but all too often it doesn’t take too much effort to see why Sunday School is failing—and this is a problem an outreach program will not solve. They are failing because the teaching is teaching is crummy. It is nowhere close to what I describe in the Double book as “half way decent teaching.” It is in a different time zone from the teaching of Jesus.
This book is an effort to examine the teaching style of Jesus with a view to helping teachers teach more like Jesus. Who wouldn’t want that?
Love the students
Rarely do we learn from people except that we feel that they love us. If we feel they love us, we can handle their rebuke. We can accept their criticism. We can receive the word they have for us.
If we don’t feel they love us, nothing else matters. We don’t want to hear anything they have to say.
Jesus was an effective teacher, in part, because people knew that he loved them. Even outsiders observed Jesus and said, “Behold how he loved.” (John 11.36) Love is about spending time with. Love is about serving. Love is about listening. Love is about liking.
If you would teach like Jesus, you must begin by loving like Jesus. As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”