Too many Sunday School teachers focus on their teaching style instead of focusing on the various styles of learning of their members. If we teach with only style that we are confortable with we will miss out on truly making disciples.
There are many different learning styles and teachers need to know those styles of their members. If you know the learning styles of your members and plan your teaching based on those styles, I guarantee that the content of your Bible studies will improve.
A visual learner will be best taught if your teaching is seen. These type of learners love to take notes and fill in the blanks. They usually sit in the front of the class or near the teacher. Their dress and appearance is usually neat. If they are bored they will find something to watch. They love lessons with illustrations and language that is full of imagery. The use of colors will also aid in the process of learning.
Those that are auditory learners enjoy hearing and listening to lessons. They are not concerned with what goes on in the front of the classroom. Their clothes may not be color or style coordinated but they can thoroughly explain their choices in attire. You will sometimes see them humming or even speaking to themselves and they often read aloud even when they are alone. They remember and learn by verbalizing the lesson to themselves.
These learners love to do and touch. They are very active will need to be near the door or an open area. They will communicate through gestures and the use of their hands. They will remember what is done but have difficulty remember the details of what has been said or seen. They love to tinker and will begin to move around when they are bored. They will rely on what they know or have experienced. The use of meaningful learning activities will aid these learners in their growth and development as a follower of Christ. These learners also appreciate physical encouragement like a handshake or a pat on the back or even a hug.
Did you recognize your learning style? As you are developing your Bible study for this coming week, try to remember these styles. Reflect on the members of your group and seek to develop a lesson that focuses on how they learn instead of merely focusing on your style of teaching.
Dr. Tim S. Smith serves as the Specialist of the Sunday School and Open Group Ministries of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Visit their website at ssog.gabaptist.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School.