In school and in church, you’ve heard great teachers, mediocre teachers, and some downright awful ones. What made the great ones stand out from the crowd?
Most likely, the memorable ones used stories to connect with your life in ways that were personal, engaging, and relevant. Jesus did that. He taught with stories called “parables,” and those stories were drawn from real, everyday situations. His stories were engaging, and they allowed Him to apply deep spiritual truths to everyone. Young or old, male or female, educated or simple, everyone could relate to His stories and understand His life-changing words.
Here are some practical ways we can follow Jesus’ example as we use stories to teach important lessons in our small groups
At the beginning of each church year, Sunday school teachers and ministry leaders accept their new responsibilities. Looking forward to the year ahead, we see the promise of hearts touched, eyes opened, and lives changed. Most leaders in ministry don’t view the task ahead as something they have to do; they see the task as something they get to do.
I learned the hard way that preparing to teach was work. Today, when I’m preparing a new lecture for a university class, I allow myself about three hours of prep for every one hour in the classroom. And this is for content that I’ve already studied in school myself.
The prep time is not necessarily spent re-learning the material, though that naturally happens too. Rather, the prep time is spent determining what to include, how to order the key points, and what examples will illustrate best.
Solomon did something similar.
In my younger and lighter years, I ran track. Two of my races were the 440 and 880 relay. There were four legs in the 440 relay race, and each leg was 110 yards. The 880 had four varying length legs. As a sprinter, I was given the shortest leg.
To finish the race correctly without being disqualified, each runner had to hand off the baton smoothly and efficiently in the zone provided. If we were not trained and effective in the art of handing off the baton, we cost our team precious seconds, and often the race.