As we consider the teaching process for today’s young adults and youth, we need to realize the shift in learning from a teaching through lecture model to a learning model of peers working together to figure it out. Let’s take the I Phone for example. If you purchase an I Phone you receive very little instruction on how to use it with your purchase. You can go online and receive the instructions…it is about 200 pages long!
Most young adults and youth are quick to figure out how to use their smart phone without instructions. They enjoy having peers show them the latest apps or self-discovery of what’s new. When it comes to Bible study, we can learn something from the younger generations of smart phone users. Consider how to teach the mIllenials (for example). It would be best for us to provide an environment for them to delve into Scripture and figure it out as a learning community for themselves, rather than providing all the answers. It is fine to set the context and culture for the background of the passage, but then we need to ask the right questions and facilitate discussion as pupils discuss what the passage means for today.
As educators have been telling us for a long time, lecture provides a learning environment with little retention. We need teachers who are secure enough to ask questions, provide a creative environment and allow pupils to wrestle with the text. Allowing students to figure it out for themselves through a trusting and open environment of learners moves learning from the 5% retention to 60% or greater retention. Teachers encourage your students by providing such an environment.
As We read in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Amen! May we be faithful as teachers to allow our students to wrestle with the text.