Archive for Learning

Teach Dynamically

VERSE:  Whcreativeteachingatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23, ESV

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? According to merriam-webster.com one of the definitions for dynamic (dy·nam·ic) is “marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change.”  In the Christian realm, I think that most of us desire for our relationship with God to be dynamic in the sense that we want to be in a continuous state of growing in our relationship with him – which would often produce activity and change.  So it is important that this carries over into our teaching time on Sundays, Wednesdays, or whenever we are teaching at church.

WHAT DO I DO? As I began to think of the topic of teaching dynamically and the definition above, several key thoughts and actions came to mind:

  • Spend time in God’s word on a daily basis
  • Pray for God’s directions, for your class time, for the kids in your class and their families.
  • Prepare.  Take time to prepare to teach God’s word and to share the Greatest story ever
  • Develop relationships with your group members. Get to know them.  They are all created in his image.
  • Take advantage of training opportunities.
  • Choose to take time to teach creatively to different learning styles.

What would you add to this list to have a dynamic teaching time?


Maria Brannen has served as a State Missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board since 1998 and is a Kids Groups and Faith Development Consultant. Prior to that, she served on church staff in Georgia and Texas. She has produced multiple resources including Bible Drill Devotional Books, Youth Bible Drill Leader’s Guides and a Bible Drill app in the iTunes store.  Connect with Maria at facebook.com/gbckidsministry,    
or https://www.pinterest.com/gabibledrill/ . Maria’s e-mail is mbrannen@gabaptist.org

3 Ideas to Get More from the Bible

3ideasWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10, NKJV).

Ezra provided us with a great model, not only as a teacher of God’s Word, but also for the hearer. This short verse, tucked away in the Old Testament, provides us with three ideas to get more from reading and studying the Bible.

WHAT DO I DO? If you’re a Bible study teacher, Ezra’s example reminds you to…

  1. Prepare your heart as you seek God’s will;
  2. Obey God; and
  3. THEN you teach God’s Word.

The Bible is meant to be obeyed. Teacher, as you prepare to teach each week, be sure your preparation includes a desire to know God’s will, not only for your hearers, but also for you own life. Like Ezra, you must be willing to obey what God says in His Word, before you stand before your class/group and teach. As you prepare your heart and seek God’s will, you will get more from the Bible as you obey and make necessary changes in your own life.

If you’re a student in a Sunday School class or in a small group, then you too must be willing to approach Bible study with a seeking heart, sincerely wanting to know God’s will. Then, be willing to obey what God is teaching you.

Using a Teaching Style Different from Your Natural Preference

creativeWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Most teachers will teach the same way this Sunday that they taught last Sunday.  They will teach the same way the next Sunday that they taught this Sunday.  Why? Because that’s how they teach.

But how did Jesus teach?  Did he teach the same way every time? What kinds of methods did Jesus use?  Shouldn’t all of us want to teach the way that Jesus taught?

WHAT DO I DO? Intentionally plan a lesson each month using a teaching style different from your natural preference.  Consider studying these three topics:

  1. Examine how Jesus taught. As you read the Gospels, identify the methods that Jesus used.  Bruce Wilkinson in Teaching the Jesus Way said that when he determined that Jesus rarely used the same method. His teaching was different every time based on the outcome that he desired and the audience that he taught.
  2. Study how people learn.  Most groups will have people who prefer to learn differently from how the teacher teaches.  The Eight Learning Approaches are: Physical, Verbal, Visual, Musical, Natural, Relational, Logical, and Reflective.
  3. Read a book on teaching.  Your teaching style will determine the likely learning outcome of your lesson.  A good book is TEACHER: Creating Conversational Communities.

My favorite definition of teaching is: Teaching is creating an experience in which a person changes in some lasting way his knowledge, understanding, attitude, skills or values. So get creative and teach a lesson each month different from your natural teaching preference.

Learn More about the Skill of Writing/Asking Good Questions

questionballsWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Several years ago I was introduced to a new skill.  I had no idea about the impact that this training would have on my life, my teaching, my group leading, and my relationships with people. This skill is coaching.  Oh, not the kind that you see in a football, basketball or baseball game.  This skill teaches a person the disciplines or listening and asking good questions.

WHAT DO I DO? What I have found is that learning these 2 disciplines can also help someone to be a better teacher.  It isn’t the teaching where you download a bunch of information from you the teacher to the student.  It is a way to help the student discover truth and wrestle with God’s Word for themselves.

Asking good questions involves these adjustments:

  • Learning to ask instead of tell.
  • It means that you seek to help the student discover for themselves instead of you giving them the right information.
  • It means learning to ask open ended questions.  Simply put, if you ask a question and someone can answer with yes or no, you have asked a close ended question.
  • Ask questions with how, or what if, or describe for me.

The point is to ask questions that cause the student to have to describe their answer rather than give you the facts.  When you are using this skill in your teaching, be sure to prepare by writing out your questions beforehand and ask the question to yourself and think about how you would answer that question.  If your answer is yes or no, go back and try again. Happy Asking!!!

Getting the Attention of Your Members

attentionBy Dr. Fred Creason, Leadership Strategist, Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? We all know the routine: “Anybody got any blessings this week?”  “Anybody got any prayer requests?” “Anybody know how Emma’s surgery went?  I meant to go by the hospital, but I guess I didn’t.”  “Anybody know what happened to the Jones family?  Ken and Debbie haven’t been here for a while.  I meant to call, but I guess I didn’t.”

Some people like routine.  But many of us struggle.  We get tired of the same old questions, the same old answers, and the stifling sameness of our Bible study groups.

WHAT DO I DO? People don’t expect much from our Sunday School classes.  And they get what they expect.  But how do we change things?  How do we get the attention of Sunday School members, so that they look forward to coming to class?

We could redecorate the room, or rearrange the tables and chairs.  We could even try to move the blessing and prayer request time to the end of the class period.  But no lasting change will take place until we determine—as a group—why we meet.

Life-changing Sunday School classes know their purpose.  Sunday School began, in the late 1700s, as a ministry arm of the church—a way to get outside the church walls and into the community.  Every class has gifted members, people who can use their gifts and talents to serve others (carpentry, mechanics, yard care, cooking, etc.).

We won’t have to get our members’ attention, when God has their attention.  A class that ministers together will be excited to meet together.