READ Romans 12 for a great Word on Preparing and Caring
Many years ago Dr. Bo Prosser (Minister of Education at a church and is now Coordinator of Organizational Relationships for CBF) shared a quote that stuck with me- “People go where they know that they have been cared for and prepared for.” It is a quote that every SS teacher and worker should memorize and use as part of their ministry!
Do the persons in your Bible study class feel prepared for and cared for? Here are some areas to evaluate whether it is true for your class:
Are you present and ready to teach ten minutes before class starts? One of the most horrifying experiences in my years as a Minister of Education was walking into the youth SS room a few minutes before the class was to start, and discovering the lights were not on, the teacher was not there, and the only person in the class was a visitor! This person did not feel prepared for and cared for!
Does everyone feel that they belong? The Millennial Generation wants to belong before they will commit! Are you providing an environment of authentic community where people can share their concerns without risk of confidentiality issues? Are people open to talk about doubts and fears? Is the class focused on what God is doing now? Years ago I taught a young adult men’s class where five grew up in the same high school and five were transplants because of work. I would often catch the five who grew up together reminiscing about their high school days in the midst of the discussion. Subconsciously, they were telling the other five, “You don’t belong!”
Are you doing everything in your preparation to share God’s Word and facilitate discussion? I have many horror stories about teachers who read the lesson “word for word,” and then asked if there were any questions. I have been in lecture only classes. (Only 5% will be retained by the students.) I have seen classes talk about everything under the sun until there was twenty minutes left and the teacher did not have enough time to help the students get to life application of Scripture. If that is the case the teacher has failed to be a conduit of transformation for the class!
Do you vary the learning approaches based on your class or stick to what is familiar with you? Preparation requires knowing everyone in your class and how they learn best. Too often teachers will focus on how they learn best. If you would like a Learning Approaches Inventory to know how your class learns best, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send an inventory for you to share. Preparing requires knowing how your students learn best and using these techniques as part of the class.
More to come about caring in the next blog!