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One Good Idea for Teaching Adults

Ron and Nancy faithfully attend worship and serve at their church. As for attending the Sunday morning Bible study, well, they’ve tried it, but they just won’t come back. You see, they really don’t like it when their pastor has breakout groups. They don’t like to be “forced” to dialog with others at their table. It has turned them off to corporate Bible study.

Adult-Bible-Study-WriterThis is an area in which I’ve become more sensitive. As much as my these-are-some-of-the- best-methods-for-adults-to-learn mind-set values breakout groups because the learners are teaching one another, I also know I need alternatives to put the Rons and Nancys at ease.

This month’s “one good idea” for teaching adults is to incorporate learning activities that don’t always involve breakout groups but can get direct interaction from the learners. Here are five examples:

  • Take 45 seconds and write down what you are asking God to provide when you pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” Note: your answers can’t include food, clothing, or shelter, which are certainly part of our “daily bread.” List other items. We’ll hear samples. [The 45-second time to think of what they would include on their list doesn’t spoon-feed them an answer from others. It also curbs those who feel they need to provide their answer and input for every question.]
  • Let’s review what we learned in Romans 8. With what words would you fill in the blanks? You have one minute.
    • There is no ___________________ for those who are _______ Christ Jesus.
    • _____ things work together for our _______.
    • ____________ can _______________ us from God’s ___________.
      [This allows those who like to work on their own the chance to draw upon what they’ve learned and summarize key truths.]
  • From the list of six passages below that talk about managing what God has entrusted to us, pick one and record what you think is the most important point that passage teaches us about managing God’s possessions. We’ll hear samples from the group. [This gives options so that another isn’t dictating what passage a person needs to pick. The individual gets to direct his or her own learning.]
  • With a person next to you, or on your own if you prefer, name at least five blessings God provides to people through his gift of marriage. We’ll hear samples. [The phrase “or on your own if you prefer” gives the option to work alone, but it also allows others to work together as a group.]
  • Draw a picture you could use to teach a five-year-old what grace is. We’ll ask for volunteers to explain their drawings. [No need for a group to put a picture together. This can be done solo. Drawing pictures can also connect with the visual learners in the group.]

I pray that this month’s “one good idea” will help you incorporate alternatives to breakout groups.

Dan Schroeder

Next time: What does a “growth group” look like?