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Teaching Methods

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Teaching like Jesus

Jesus teaching His disciples

Teaching Method of Jesus:

In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus spent much time teaching people by using a number of parables.  Prables are stories that caught the imagination of the listeners and carried a message or moral.  Some of these Jesus explained and left others for the audience to work out.

Jesus was the Master of getting across a message and His simple stories illustrated the kingdom of Heaven.  He teaches us the basics of how to teach and tell our lessons, messages or stories, and how to apply their application to the listeners.

1.  Simplify:

Matthew 13 is a good chapter to study the ways that Jesus told stories.  Jesus knew that people do not listen and understand readily, and so we need to do as He did and teach them by linking what they need to know with things that are familiar with them.  It also shows that our message needs to be very clear and be repeated often.

For example in Luke 6:43-45, Jesus told a simple story about a tree and its fruit:

"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.   Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.  People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.  The good man brings out good things from the good stored up in his heart, but the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For he speaks from the overflow of his heart.

His listeners knew immediately what Jesus was referring to as they were very familiar with fruit trees.  The point Jesus made was that if we are good and love and serve God, then we will guard our tongues and speak only kind ans helpful things to those around us.

We also note that to keep the children's attention and leave a lasting impression of our goal and application in telling a story, we must alwaya be sure that our teaching motto is:

"Keep it simple, and make it fun!"

2.  Know Your Audience:

Know the audience and their needs.  Teach lessons, stories, messages and their application that are aimed at meeting those needs.  Jesus always told very specific stories and teachings that were directed to the heart of those who listened to Him.  In Matthew 13 verse 9, Jesus exclaimed:

"He who has ears, let him hear!"

Jesus meant that they should not just listen, but hear.  To hear means to listen to to a story or lesson, and then take it into your heart and respond by doing or carrying out what is required (that is the application).

3.  Be Sensitive:

Recognise teachable moments and when the audience is receptive.  Be flexible so that you can take advantage of such times and press home a relevant teaching or story.  Jesus recognised this when great crowds of people gathered (Matthew 13 verses 1 to 3):

"Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.  Then he told them many things in parables."

4.  Be an Example:

Children typically do what you do, and not always what you say and teach!   So make sure that your life is an open book that all can read.  You need to be a living example of what Jesus would have you to be.

5.  Evaluate:

Take note of what your children understand.  Evaluate their response and adjust your teaching so as to ensure that they understand and want to respond to the message.  In Matthew 13 verse 51, Jesus asked:

"Have you understood all these things?"  And they replied, "Yes."

God bless!

 

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