FRIDAY, JUNE 8: You may recall that Walk Thru the Bible International Ministries conducted a study as to why teenagers left Sunday School, they were shocked at their findings.
The number one reason was not false teaching, non-committal teachers, or even a lack of love… it was that they were bored to death.
So as we look each week at changing our style to reflect God’s style, maybe we can actually put these principles into practice to notice a difference not only in our teaching, but also in the lives of our students.
With the continual decline in our generation, it is necessary that we have effective teachers in the church and so I would like to encourage all of us to teach with God’s Style.
We are going to look at another style that God exhibits when he teaches us: He is both unexpected and unique.
Have you ever thought about this pattern in the Bible whereby his style is unexpected…. there are so many.
God understands the powerful effect of surprise.
For example, imagine Balaam when he wanted to speak a message cursing on the children of Israel instead of a message of blessing.
God has to get his attention through a talking donkey. That was both unexpected but also unique. It was the only time we read of God speaking to someone through a donkey.
“Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Numbers 22:28
What a shock! He was getting Balaam’s attention by this unique event. We know this was never the norm… “The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No”, he said.” Vs. 30.
But notice what God did. Due to the unexpected and the unique he had Balaam’s full attention to listen to the main message he wanted to give him.
“Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.” Vs. 31.
As a teacher we must do the same to our students. We need to bring the unexpected and the unique to the classroom. God cared about Balaam and his people so much that He was willing to create something unique and unexpected for them to grab their attention in order to teach a powerful truth.
As you think of your Bible Study, classroom or Sunday school class, think of doing something that will “shock” your students in order to grab their attention to teach. Think about the things that Jesus did to get the attention of his disciples.
Let’s name a few: walk on water, causes a fish to have a coin in its mouth, shows his glory to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. Each of these events are unique… to teach a timeless truth that they would remember. Do we demonstrate love to our students by removing boredom by doing something unique – just for them – to remember? As you prepare your lesson this week keep this in mind: the unexpected is to grab their attention to teach and unique is to cause them to remember what to apply.
Try it this week and begin to see transformation in the lives of your students or your church.
Pastor Gary Simons serves as the senior pastor at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship that meets each Sunday at 10am at Ruth Seaton James Auditorium, CedarBridge Academy.