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Dr. Danny's Teacher-to-Teacher Podcast

Dec 4, 2020

  • Why?: How and why might you teach a lesson using only discussion as your method?
  • What?: There are a number of reasons you might choose discussion as the format for a Bible lesson. The personality of the class, as a whole, may favor discussion. You may want to have a community of believers rely on the Holy Spirit, who indwells them, to teach them more directly. You may want to exploit the learning preferences of every learner in the class using the principles on which The Effective Four questions are based. Those Effective Four are Why? What? So What? So What Now?. If you're using discussion, you need to plan a series of questions that will help your learners engage with the Bible in order to provide direction for the lesson. For example, when teaching 1 John chapter 1, verses 1-4, I draw them in by having them answer a question: "What problems can keep us from having joy as a church body?" After a couple of answers, I point them to the text that provides the answer. Here I share my teaching point: Real joy comes from real fellowship with the real Jesus. My affective aim is that The learner will desire real joy as a member of Christ's body.
    As I transition from the Why? to the What?, I explain how differences in essential doctrines divide today just like doctrine divided the early church that wrestled over the truth that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man.
    Then, I walk them through the text asking questions that show them how I came to my teaching point. I spend as much time as necessary for them to see the truth I saw in my study. But, I typically have a time marked on my notes so that we don't run out of time before getting to the final questions—So What? and So What Now?. In asking these transformative questions, I allow them to provide the answers so that they're more likely to commit to being transformed by the truth of the passage. I sometimes have some sort of accountability built in, but sometimes I allow them to suggest ways they would be accountable. Throughout the entire lesson, I am steering them towards the truth of the passage and the application of that truth for their lives.
  • So What?: In the classroom, discussion sometimes looks like the teacher didn't have to do much to prepare the lesson. That is as far from the truth as you can get IF the lesson is intended to transform the learners. As the teacher preparing, you never know what answers you will get to the questions you ask so you have to be prepared for the most likely and be willing to say "I don't know, but I'll get back to you" for the ones you didn't anticipate. You can never be sure how the discussion will unfold. And, you have to keep their transformation in mind as you sometimes force them to move on so that The Effective Four questions—Why? What? So What? So What Now? are answered. Being able to control the discussion takes a lot more preparation than a lecture.
  • So What Now?: Knowing that the Holy Spirit is the primary teacher, will you commit to allowing Him to use you to teach using a discussion format for some of your teaching? It seems risky not knowing the rabbit trails you may discuss, but trusting Him, will you commit to leading discussions with excellence?