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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 must then explore how Biblical truths apply to the lives of our youth. We need to choose a destination.

With each truth, there are many possible destinations. Some applications will be very closely related to a truth, while others may be a little far off. We need to explore those that are closely related and choose a destination, a landing point. When we do this, it will be much easier to determine the direction and links that will take us to our chosen destination. Anything else is just extra weight. Add too much weight and we risk the possibility that the bridge may collapse before we reach our goal!

Where do you want to go? CHOOSING YOUR GOAL!

An effective goal reveals in relatively broad terms what the student should learn. Instead of stating what the student will do to prove he has learned, it sets in relatively broad terms the direction of learning.

Read the following statements. Which ones do you consider “relatively broad” statements of the direction of learning.

  1. The student arranges in chronological order a random list of ten events in the life of Jesus.
  2. The student knows the teachings of Jesus.
  3. The student matches the 10 beatitudes of Jesus with examples of each.
  4. The student demonstrates understanding of the meanings of the beatitudes.
  5. The student understands the teaching of the “sermon on the mount”

The list contains some very specific statements-one and three. They specify rather minute indicators that the learner has achieved a goal. So we do not call them goals. Numbers two, four, and five express learning intent in relatively board terms.

Next: More about choosing your goal!

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