Going to Biola I listened to a lot of people talk about the Bible. Most of my classes involved listening to people talk about what they knew and thought of the Bible. Some of those professors were great. Others of them…not so much.
I had one professor who was really boring. I was so bored a lot of times I ended up falling asleep in his class. Looking back I wonder how obvious it was to him that most of his class, like me, were completely disengaged from what he was saying.
If he did notice he didn’t do anything about it. He did what I think he had always done: regurgitated information. Which is what I think a lot of people who teach the Bible do.
Most people who get up to teach, whether they’re teaching the Bible or Economics or English or Math or whatever don’t start out wanting to be Wikipedia machines. They want to change lives. But somewhere along the way forget to tell the people they’re teaching what’s important about what they’re teaching in a way that’s memorable.
Why should they remember what you’re telling them and how will you help them remember? Does it solve a problem in their life? Does it answer a question they’ve been dying to answer? In what way will your content make their lives better?
This doesn’t just matter to adults. As a Kids’ Pastor I spend most of my teaching time with kids. Kids need to know they why even more than adults do.
When I teach kids about Adam and Eve I don’t just want them to know trivia: the fruit may or may not have been an apple or if it was a literal 7 days or metaphorical period of time. I want them to get that Knowing God made everything means I can trust Him with anything. That’s my main point when talking to kids about Adam and Eve. That’s my one thing. My whole talk about creation with kids revolves around that.
When I talk about John 3 I don’t just want kids to know what a Pharisee is or that Nicodemus was one or that He met Jesus at night on a roof so he wouldn’t be ostracized from his community. I want them to know Jesus is the only way to wash away my sins. That’s my one thing.
I want kids to understand the story of Joseph so they’ll never forget God saves us so we can help save others.
I want kids to know the story of the burning bush because God shows Himself to me so I know how to be.
These aren’t the only truths that come out of these passages for kids. But they are some of the ones I don’t want them to forget.
The next time your teaching don’t forget to tell your audience how what you’re teaching is important to their lives.
What’s the next thing you’re teaching about? How can you communicate why it’s important to your audience? How will you help them remember what you’re telling them?