I love teaching. I believe communicating God's Word is central to my calling in life. I want people to passionately love God and learn how to live out their faith, and I'm sure you do as well! How do we do this practically?
I want to unpack this statement on how to teach:
Verbal clarity + Visual aids + Interaction = Maximum learning (from Rick Blackwood's book, The Power of Multisensory Preaching and Teaching: Increase Attention, Comprehension, and Retention)
Verbal clarity - Use clear wording to help students understand what is being communicated. Work on transition statements in between important teaching points during the message. Use language that you clearly define to avoid "christian-ese" statements. Think through the mind of a middle or high school student. Will they be able to understand the way you communicate? Am I defining the bigger words I use to help students who do not have a church/Bible background?
Visual aids - Help students see the message as they listen to it. I like using pictures, videos, props and more to help communicate. We live in a visual culture, so always make sure to run your message through this filter. Will the students be able to process visually what you are saying verbally? Visual props help land the main thought of a message. In every message, ask the question, "How can I communicate this visually?"
Interaction - Ask questions throughout the message to help engage the audience. Remember, we are not talking AT people but talking TO people. Help them see that the message isn't coming from the "expert" but coming from someone that is learning it along with them instead. I try to think through breaks in each message where I ask a question and pause. Allow the audience to repeat it back to you. It helps the listeners to breathe and opens them up to stay on track with the message.
= Maximum learning
The goal of teaching God's Word is transformation. It doesn't happen by accident. It takes preparation and the power of the Holy Spirit to impact the audience. I am continually trying to improve how I communicate God's Word.
What ways do you communicate God's Word to students that help them grow? Share in the comments below!