Tuesday Teaching Tip: Don’t Teach About a Topic – Teach to a Desire

Grabbing the attention of adults isn’t the easiest thing to do in the classroom. Adults come to a group capture-attentionBible study with all kinds of things on their minds – like what they are going to have for lunch, what items should be on their grocery list, and the kind of yard work they need to do when they get home after church. But unless you, the group leader, grab the attention of the people in your Bible study, you’ll find yourself facing an uphill battle.

A classic mistake

Don’t begin your Bible study with these words: “Today we are going to study about ________” (you fill in the blank with the topic of your study). The motivation stage of your lesson is very important (some people say it is the most important part of your study) – and it is critical you capture people’s attention during the opening minute or two of your study. Beginning a Bible study by telling your people that you’re going to teach them about a topic can create unintended mental drifting.

Teach to a Desire

So if you aren’t supposed to teach about a topic, what is the alternative? Simple: teach to a desire. Instead of telling your group, “Today we are going to study Ephesians 5,” say instead, “Today we are going to learn how to have a healthier home environment based on God’s instructions to husbands and wives.” People desire to have healthy, peaceful, God-honoring homes. Appeal to that desire to generate interest in the Bible study. You’ll still teach the group the verses from Ephesians 5, but you’ll have their attention as you start the study.

One more example. Instead of telling your group, “Today we are going to learn about spiritual gifts as Paul lists them in I Corinthians 12,” begin the Bible study with, “Today we are going to discover that we don’t have to be misfits.” You can go on to explain that God’s desire for each person is that they discover their importance to their church that makes them indispensable and valuable. No one likes to be the “odd man out,” and no one likes being the misfit – it feels terrible.


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