Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Can I Do?, 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:34

In our travels this summer, I am visiting other Explore the Bible classes to hear and learn from other Bible teachers. This past Sunday, the teacher covered 1 Cor 7 as an expository preacher might present it from a pulpit. Class members wanted to participate, but there was never an opportunity. As a visitor I didn't say anything and I don't know if the teacher was seminary trained or not.

A teacher friend of mine doesn't like class members making comments during a lesson. His belief is they are unprepared and their comments turn into the blind leading the blind. I have trouble with this since learning, I believe, comes from hearing, seeing and participating. Seems like there is an appropriate balance, but maybe not. If you can deliver spellbinding lectures that transform lives then by all means continue doing it.

Gary Payne faithfully posted his slides for this week's lesson, "What Can I Do?" from 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:34.


Dennis said...

I find it hard to believe that any teacher could possibly believe that classroom discussion cannot lead to greater understanding. I believe you friend is more afraid of losing control of the discussion (a valid concern in any classroom situation). But as teachers, we must be able to walk that sometimes fine line between allowing a class to discuss their way into deeper understanding, and letting incorrect Biblical concepts go unchallenged by more immature Christians. An effective teacher can and should do their best to allow free discussion, whole correcting obviously questionable understanding of divine principles. This is group learning at its best!

servingHim said...

Dennis, you are probably right about the desire for "control." Too, fear of not being able to answer a question could also be a motivation for a teacher to limit discussion.

Chris said...

Everyone has their own way of "teaching." Many times, people who are not too comfortable with the subject matter want to quickly get through it; however, study groups should be different. It's not surprising though. Many Christians were brought up to listen and not question the lesson. The belief is that by questioning what is said, one is questioning God's Word. Rabbi's talk about interpretations all the time. They encourage challenging the meaning of the text. It's through this struggle that wisdom is born. But, at the end of the day, His word stands.

David Cromie said...

I encourage discussion in the classroom. I believe we learn from each other and we grow together in the Lord by sharing your thoughts, comments, what the Lord has done in your life, and asking questioning. Sometimes my adults will ask a question that I am not able to answer, that is okay. I come back next week with the answer or I may email the answer to them. One thing I encourage my people to do, is share life experiences. You never know who is going into that trial, in the middle of that trial, or coming out of that trial and those words will minister to that person. The Holy Spirit is in control will guide the discussion. Check out my blog on last week's lesson on Guidelines for Marriage.

servingHim said...

David, I looked thru your slides. Very nice! They would be helpful to other teachers, I think. Not too dense (as some tend to be). Re discussion in class: my thoughts are almost the same as yours. Bonding (love) occurs between a teacher and class members as they realize thru discussion that the teacher is genuinely interested in them, their issues, and their growth. Thanks to you and Chris for sharing your thoughts.

Rittenhouse said...

I'm a teacher by profession, and I certainly believe that learning is an active process! My most passive students are the ones who progress the least, according to their test results.

On the other hand, each teacher does need to find the best teaching style for himself; and of course, students have different learning styles. Some people actually prefer to only listen. I actually had two people drop out of my Sunday School class because the wife was not comfortable with the questions/discussions (though participation was totally voluntary).

servingHim said...

Rittenhouse, you raise a good point. Teachers have to know their audience. In your example my guess is that the couple feared having to talk so much they left the class. In other words, they felt they would HAVE to talk at some point.

Thanks for the great insight!

Monty said...

For those looking at using Commentaries for the lessons, I found a good site comparing and evaluating the different commentaries.

David Cromie said...

Here is the lesson for Sunday morning entitled, "Christian Liberty". Paul gives us four biblical prinicples in asking "What Can I DO?"
1. Is it based on Love?
2. Will it harm others?
3. Will it be a witness for Christ?
4. Will it glorify God?

Review the slides.

David Cromie
Seeker's Sunday School Teacher
Sherwood Baptist Church
Albany, GA

servingHim said...

David, thanks for posting a link to your slides. They look pretty good. As I read thru them, I'm not sure I know "what Jesus would do," but your slides reminded me of a friend's saying, "If you know any subject better than you know the Bible, then you're not studying the Bible enough." Thanks again for posting your slides.