Category | Improving Your Teaching

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This review game uses clothespins, and pennants to remind youth and teens about Bible lessons learned.

Materials
string, paper and clothespins

What to Do

  1. Tie the string across the front of the room.
  2. On pennants or pieces of paper, write the themes, topics, central characters, etc from recent

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Preparation

  • On 10 sheets of paper place the numbers 1-10.
  • Tape these across the floor on one side of the room.
  • Ask youth to stand on the sheet of paper that corresponds to how they feel about the any or all the statements below. (scale: 1 highly disagree,

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The Old Testament used a great many object lessons or parables for teaching spiritual truths and lessons to the people of God. In almost all instances these object lessons are still easily understood today.

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In Christ’s teaching, He used the things with which the people were most familiar, the things of the earth to teach them the things that were unfamiliar, the things of heaven. The unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things, the spiritual by the natural, the difficult by the simple. Object lessons speak to the eyes and

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Many a new Sunday School teacher has stood in front of a group of youth and experienced the stage fright that comes with being responsible for imparting spiritual knowledge to them. Teaching youth can be intimidating, to say the least. Some people seem to be born with the ability to connect with students, while others need a lot of tools

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Paul, the apostle said, “I have become all things to all men that by all means I may save some.” ( I Cor. 9:19-23) Paul was a master at learning how to communicate in terms that were most contextually effective. Good teachers and leaders spend as much time considering the needs of their youth as they do in planning the

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2 Timothy 3:14-16

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for 

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Try this three step approach to improving your storytelling:

  1. Read and learn about storytelling. (see below)
  2. Listen to others who are good storytellers.
  3. Learn good stories and tell them to others.

Preparing the Story

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Read through the Gospels and you cannot help but notice that storytelling was one of the key characteristics of Christ’s teaching.

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Jesus Took Advantage of Teachable Moments

Oliver Wendell Holmes once described the teachable moment this way: “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

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1. Add Social Time
Start your meetings ten minutes earlier than usual with a fun icebreaker*!

2. Keep It Moving
Change gears every twenty minutes – Every 20 minutes change something! Activity, presentation style, take a break, change the sitting arrangement, change partners or groups, have a team presentations, exercise, game, quiz, etc. You can even throw a related icebreaker*

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In many ways, Paul was a spiritual Father to Timothy, and his letters refer to him as his beloved son. He taught and mentored Timothy as his son in the faith! There is much we can learn from Paul’s example in teaching Timothy!

Do what I did!

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Jesus was the Master Teacher. Not only was He an excellent communicator, but he also had the ability to ask questions that probed both the heart and the mind. The disciples were challenged to answer His questions with more than superficial, fact-based answers. The questions Jesus asked caused listeners to think and evaluate before responding.

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Introduction
Next time you have a lesson on a difficult theological concept, distribute a list of words for which kids are unlikely to know the exact definitions:

Examples
atheism, atonement, beatitude, covenant, eschatology, Eucharist, predestination, gnosticism, grace, justification, meek, propitiation, repentance, sanctification, supplication, transfiguration, etc.

Activity

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To be most effective in your Bible study with youth:

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I tried to teach my child with books
He only gave me puzzled looks
I tried to teach my child with words
They passed him by often unheard
Despairingly I turned aside
“How shall I teach this child?” I cried
Into my hand, he put the key
“Come, he said, play with me.”

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Last time we looked at Successful Bridge Building and the importance of knowing your destination. Building bridges requires you to take stock of where you are and where you want to go. We mentioned that is must be in BROAD terms and set the DIRECTION you want to go. That moves us toward the destination. But the true destination is

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Building bridges requires you to take stock of where you are and where you want to go.

Every bridge has a starting point and an end point. Too often, teachers think all they need to do is explain what the Bible means. But knowledge for the sake of knowledge is meaningless. While we must surely begin with this, we

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There is something about a bridge that is fascinating.

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“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Getting Back in Touch with Your Personal Creativity!

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  • apple.jpgTo serve others
  • To gain love and acceptance
  • To obtain recognition and status
  • To find self-fulfillment
  • To serve God


Get "Creative Sermon Ideas" eBook

Get Help on Your Youth Sermons

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Ingredients
1 loving teacher
8 to 12 young minds
1 to 2 cups curiosity
4 to 5 spoonfuls fun hands-on participation
Patience
Laughter
Enthusiasm

Directions

  1. Combine talented teacher and eager young mind
  2. Add cupfuls of curiosity and spoonfuls of fun.
  3. Blend in generous amounts of hands-on participation mixed

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Tips for using Stories.

  • Don’t tell a story without practice.
  • Do not analyze the story. Let the story speak for itself.
  • Don’t make it a sermon. Stories enhance sermons; sermons do not enhance stories.
  • Keep it vivid. Use words that paint mental pictures.

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Game Description
Sitting in a circle, youth toss a ball of string to someone else in the circle. The person receiving the string must name a quality, item, or something else related to the lesson.

Game Materials
Ball of string or yarn

Game Play
Example: Name a Quality of friendship

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Description
Conspicuously placed signs get attention and encourage participation.

Example

  1. Post two large sheets of paper or a couple of sheets of newsprint (small print classifieds work best) with
  2. the heading “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” on opposite walls.

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Use
Use this word game to add an element of fun and interactivity to a lesson. It works great with questions where youth can list a variety of single word answers.

Materials
Paper and writing utensil for each youth

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bread.jpgOften, well known scripture passages and events gain new life when told from a different perspective. Assign class members the roles of different people a passage. If we were to use Mark 14, then read the Mark 14, and have each person retell the story from the perspective of the person’s role they were assigned.

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magnify.jpgLook ahead to the next lesson.

As soon as one lesson has been taught, you should be looking ahead to the next one.

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file-folder.jpg
Create file folders for common lesson topics

Over the years, you will find yourself repeating many of the lesson topics with a different set of youth or children. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel every time.

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What you do
In a designated place, leave a lesson photocopied from your favorite resource with everything needed to teach the lesson. A small cloth bag with a draw string works great. Staple a label to the outside with the title of the lesson, the topic, and the scripture passage. (Large manilla envelopes or file folders can also be used

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Materials
None

Activity
Ask Youth or Children,
“If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?”

Questions are positives, not negatives.
If a child / teen is not asking spiritual questions he / she is not growing spiritually. In “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby this is referred to as a “crisis of belief.”

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Description
A communicative exercize in which individuals or groups must present a specific view of an issue and argue against other views presented by other groups.

Example
Jesus violated the Sabbath to heal the sick.
Group 1: Take the position of the Pharisees in keeping the Sabbath
Group 2: Take the position of Jesus in healing the sick

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Description
A description of the meaning of a word or phrase.

example
Faith: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
Faith: a convinced belief
Faith: Belief without evidence

Key Actions
1. Have members form a personal definition
2. Read formal definitions from dictionaries, encyclopedias or other sources.

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Description
A method of problem solving in which group members are led to suggest as many solutions as possible in a designated time period. Evaluation and criticism of proposed suggestions in not allowed until later. Great to get kids to begin thinking about a topic or subject.

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Description
A word is chosen and each letter in that word is used as the first letter of another word.

Examples
GRACE = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
FAITH = Forsaking All I Trust Him

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When Jesus talked with the woman at the well He began with water, compared that water to eternal life, and finally explained about the Messiah (John 4:1-26). He began with people at the level they were at and then stretched them and gently guided them to deeper spiritual truths and action.

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Jesus spent time with His students. He called 12 people to be His closest disciples (Mark 1:17-20). He talked with them (Mark 11:20-25), rested with them (Mark 6:30-31), and shared the Last Supper with them (Mark 14:12-26).

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Jesus’ parables, “earthly stories with heavenly meaning,” made spiritual truth clear by relating it to the everyday experiences of life. “The kingdom of God . . . is like a mustard seed” (Luke 13:19). People could relate to the stories because they were drawn from real life. He used a coin to teach about taxes (Mark 12:16-17). He used the

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“Who do people say that I am?” Jesus Asked — perhaps because people find it easier to begin talking about other people’s opinions. It was an invitation to discussion. Jesus then asked the personal question: “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) because he was never content to leave spiritual truth at the level of discussion of what others

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  1. Choose the idea you want to illustrate and find an object that can represent that idea.
  2. Plan every step for using the object lesson carefully in advance.
    —Make an outline of the required steps.
    —Keep the demonstration simple.
    —Do not digress from the main ideas.

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ADVANTAGES

  1. Objects attract and hold the attention of observers
  2. Objects can help simplify complex ideas and concepts.
  3. The high interest level extends to all age groups even though they are usually used with children.
  4. Retention is very good due to the high interest as well as the identification

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What is an Object Lesson?

An object lesson is the use of objects – insects, fruits, vegetables, animals, coins, thermometers, tools, weapons – to teach intellectual and spiritual truths. More than just a visual, an object lesson draws a truth from something you are showing or doing. Real objects, places and happenings can make learning come alive for children, youth,

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Materials
A balloon (helium filled are best) for each point in your talk.

Preparation
Write your key points on small pieces of paper. Roll them up and place them in separate balloons. Inflate the balloons and tie them. Use these to illustrate your message.

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lightbulb.jpgOne key to effective teaching is concentration on one “big idea.”

Like a magnifying glass on a hot summer day, concentration turns ho-hum teaching into fiery hot teaching. It is the teacher’s job to select what is really important to teach and converge all of the teacher’s energy on that.

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