Friday, September 14, 2018

EDUCATION: Leading Adult Bible Study

I've posted before on adult Bible study in a post called It's Not What You Teach - It's How You Teach and another called A Sage on the Stage?  They are full of information about adults and learning and tips about teaching adults. Then I went to a few adult Bible studies at my church and realized that the people teaching my classes had not read those two posts. It's not funny to respond in a way that makes people not want to participate. It's not engaging to ask questions and be met with silence because nobody can answer them or are so obvious everybody knows the answer. Asking questions that promote discussion is a skill that can be learned. I love the people teaching the classes, don't get me wrong, but how did we get to this place in the church where adult Bible study can be painful to sit through and yet we still don't do anything different?

There are a few things that typically go wrong when facilitating adult Bible study.
  • Leaders prepare slides and read them. 
  • Leaders just talk while participants sit and listen. 
  • Leaders ask questions that stifle discussion. 
  • Leaders aren't sure how to stimulate discussion. 
  • Leaders are afraid of the questions participants might ask. 
  • Leaders unknowingly respond to questions or comments in a way that makes people not want to participate. 
In response to my previous posts and this one, I created a document that can be given to those who lead/facilitate adult Bible study in the church. It's called Tips for Teaching Adults. Please share it with those who volunteer to teach adults at your church. It will encourage them and give them confidence. Find more information on teaching adults in my book, The Art of Teaching the Faith: Preschool to Adult on Amazon.

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