A couple of weeks ago I was teaching on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. My opening object lesson was to have a kid come up on stage and help me make a smoothie. I was reading the ingredients to him and having him put them in to the blender (unplugged, of course). I deliberately didn’t have all of the right ingredients, ignoring the recipe.
After he was done I was going to blend it, have one of our adult volunteers drink it, and tell everyone how gross it was. The point of all of this was to show why it’s important to follow instructions, especially the ones that we get from God in the Bible.
Sounds good, right?
Well, after the drink had been blended I started to pour the cup for my volunteer when the unthinkable happened. Somehow (I’m still not quite sure) the bottom came out from under the blender and poured everything that was in it onto the table, my clothes, and the floor. It looked like a school of trolls had puked all over the stage!
Everyone exploded in laughter. I tried to segway my mistake into a teachable moment about not following directions, but everyone knew better. I carried on with the lesson as best I could, cleaned up during small group time, and ran home to change clothes. The kids may not have gotten my message, but they will also never forget what happened (as much as I might want them to).
After my stage debacle that night I went home and reworked my lesson, sans blender. The next day I re-taught it with a new opener that got all the kids involved instead of just one or two. The new lesson went over way better than the old lesson ever could have.
So why am I telling you all of this?
If things went bad this weekend, I hope you’ll take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. I also hope you’ll remember Romans 8:28 and that no mistake is irredeemable. If I hadn’t made mine, I wouldn’t have reworked my lesson and learned a new and better way to teach abstract idea to kids.
How are you using your mistakes to become better?