Getting students engaged with God’s word in Bible class – a few core ideas.
How can we plan lessons that really get students engaged with God’s word in our Bible classes? There is no single answer to this question, but here are a few core ideas to keep in mind that help us avoid the dangers I mentioned in my previous post.
God’s word speaks to us.
It is not our job to make the Bible relevant. God has already made sure of that! Our job is to help students discover how it is relevant. Let the Bible set the agenda for what we focus on in Bible class, not the issues that are grabbing our attention at the moment.
We want students to spend time in the word, being attentive to details. Reading once is rarely enough. We need activities that keep students going back to the passage.
If students can only read the Bible while they are in our class, we have missed something important. We need to empower students to read the Bible for themselves and apply it to their own lives. Make students aware of the reading strategies they are using during Bible class, so that they can repeat the process on their own.
Through most of Christian history, Bible reading has been a communal, rather than an individual, activity. While quiet, personal Bible reading is a good practice, in Bible class we want to use activities that give students opportunity to learn together and from each other.
Use the full variety of teaching strategies and resources you have available to you. While every lesson is going to involve reading the Bible, the activities that you use to help the students understand and apply what they are reading are limited only by your creativity. Using a variety of teaching strategies is important to enable students with different learning styles to stay engaged and express what they are learning.
What other core ideas guide your planning and teaching of Bible lessons? Share your thoughts in the comments below.