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Revitalize Your Sunday School, Step 1: Creative Teaching

Posted: 9/10/19 at 11:15am. Post by Tony Brooks.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16 NIV)

There is nothing worse than having a boring Sunday School class and feeling trapped. Years ago, I was preaching at a church and got there early to attend a Sunday School class. After the opening assembly (which I have problems with…feel free to e-mail me at tony.brooks@bgav.org to ask why), a gentleman invited me to come in their class.

He was excited to have me join them. (I have to admit that his excitement encouraged me to join them. That part was on target!) After a few minutes of catching up on the weather, sports, and prayer list, the teacher finally started the class (not much time for real growth and life application).

What was his way of teaching? He read the lesson to the class word for word. In the first five minutes I wanted to escape but couldn’t! After he read the lesson, he asked if anyone had a question. I had many, but I kept them to myself!

To let the message of Christ dwell among you as you teach, perhaps you need to follow Jesus’ example. As shared by my friend, Ken Braddy, in his new book, Breathing Life into Sunday School: 12 Essentials to Revive your Most Important Ministry, Jesus taught in a variety of ways.

Here are some of the examples he shares on pages 20-21:

Object Lesson (John 4:1-52)

Points of Contact (John 1: 35-51)

Problem-solving (Mark 10:17-22)

Conversation (Mark 10:27)

Questions (As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus asked over 100 questions to provoke people to think and seek the truth.)

Answers (Jesus used His answers to move people from where they were to where they needed to be in order to grow spiritually. Jesus encouraged people to discover the truth.)

Lecture (Matt. 5-7, John 14 1-17) (These lectures included analogies and truths they had been taught and added a new thought for them to consider.)

Parables (John 10: 1-21, 15:1-10)

Scripture (Jesus quoted extensively from the Old Testament when teaching.)

Teachable Moments (John 4:5-26)

Contrast (Matt. 5:21-22, 33-34, 38-39)

Concrete and literal examples (Matthew 6: 26-34)

Symbols (Matt. 26:17-20)

Large and small groups (Matt. 5-7, John 14-17)

Individual teaching opportunities (John 3:1-21)

Modeling (Matt. 15:32)

Motivation (Matt. 16:24-27)

Impression and expression (Matt. 4:19-20, 7:20)

Himself (Matt. 28:19-20)

There are many more examples that could be used about Jesus’ teaching style. We need to vary our teaching style each Sunday, and we need to know the best learning styles of each person in the class. If you need an inventory to discover their learning styles, email me at tony.brooks@bgav.org.

Some people don’t come to Sunday School because they are bored to death! If we want to reach new people and keep them for Sunday School, we need to do a better job in creative teaching. If they can already guess what you are going to do each Sunday, you probably need to make some changes!

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7