One of my biggest fears when I get up to speak in front of a group of young people, students at the Seminary, or even in “big church” is boring the drool out of people while I’m speaking. Seriously, I have nightmares about people sleeping while I’m teaching about the the book that has caused more life change than any other book in the history of the world.
Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, is quoted as saying, “It is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” I agree. If God took the time to carefully reveal Himself to us, why do we bore people with this life-changing message?
I bet many youth workers and pastors are the same way. Nobody wants to be remembered as the boring teacher. Nobody wants half of the congregation to snooze through the sermon. None of my students would admit to wanting to bore people while they are teaching.
Well, the good news is that there are some principles that we can apply to our teaching to cut down the bore factor. Here they are.
Five Secrets to “Bore No More”:
- If you don’t know where they are, it doesn’t matter where you’re going. You must understand the level of understanding your students have of the topic. It makes no sense to teach about something that they have already learned (at the same level of teaching). Be sure to know as much about your audience as possible so you can teach new things or old things from a different perspective.
- You learn better the things that interest you. If you are 16 years old and have the option of learning how to drive a car or how to wash the dishes, you will probably choose to learn how to drive a car (unless someone can convince you of the connection between washing the dishes and finding a girlfriend). Find out what interests your students and teach it to them.
- Fulfilled needs leads to effective teaching. When we feel a need, we will go to various lengths to find the answer and fulfill the need. What are the needs your students have right now? Find those out and teach about them.
- Without stimulated activity, there is no learning. Teaching is not the act of transferring the teachers notes directly to the notebooks of the students without it ever passing through the brains of either one. It is an interaction with material. Teaching causes life change. You must figure out how to stimulate activity in the learner, or there will be no learning or teaching taking place.
- The teacher and the lesson are the same.Your life teaches your lessons and applies what you teach for good or bad. Live what you teach, or the time you spend preparing will be worthless.
What are your thoughts? What would you add? How can you apply these principles?
(image by Phoenixdailyphoto on flickr – if you’re reading in a reader, it’s worth clicking to check out the picture)
If you like this post, check out this book by Andy Stanley (the link is through my Amazon Associates Account): Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication. It’s got some great ideas for crafting and communicating messages.