In a video series featuring the late Dr. Howard Hendricks, he said, “Never tell a student anything he can discover for himself.” That’s a phrase that was instantly burned into my brain as a teacher. Such great advice and wisdom is found in that philosophy of teaching.
As a Bible study leader, try to guard against “information transfer” – dumping all you know into the minds of your group members during each Bible study session. Instead, take time to allow group members to self-discover the important truths you want them to know. If they do the work and the digging to mine scriptural truths and principles, they’ll remember them and use them more frequently than if you simply tell them what they are.
The 4 major implications of this teaching approach are:
- You’ll talk less as the group leader.
- Group members will talk more.
- Group members will need more time to complete activities and research in class (so cut back on what you plan to say as the teacher of the group!). Give them time to look up Scripture verses, perform cross-references, and consider how “Scripture interprets Scripture.”
- You’ll serve as a guide rather than as a person delivering a monologue.