Application – the group leader’s responsibility

Today’s post, like those I release on Mondays, is an excerpt from a book titled The 7 Laws of the Learner by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. In the excerpt I’ve chosen for today, Dr. Wilkinson helps us understand the importance of teaching for transformation. Here is what he says:

The difference between teaching for content and teaching for application is staggering. The content teacher thinks his responsibility is to cover and explain the facts. The application teacher thinks his responsibility is to apply the facts for lasting lifechange in his students. 

The apostle Paul understood that application is the primary responsibility of the teacher: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Col. 1:28-29).

Maybe the reason we do not experience the supernatural release of God’s power as we teach is because we have unknowingly misused God’s Book and blocked his anointing. He doesn’t need an informer, he desires a transformer.

Jesus Christ delegated to us the responsibility of application and teaching for lifechange in his famous Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) Do you remember how he directed us to teach? “Teaching them to observe (do, obey) all things that I have commanded you.” He wants his teachers to teach so our students observe/do/obey everything he said. When our students “observe,” it means they apply the truth.

Not only did Paul teach for lifechange, but so did Peter, James, and John. Disciples of the first century and disciples of the twentieth century follow in the footsteps of the Master – they teach for lifechange. (p.127)

It’s important that we who teach balance information and application. If you desire to become better at helping your group members apply the Scripture, spend about 30-40% of your group Bible study applying the Scripture! Many of us who teach try to apply the Scripture toward the end of the study, and often times we get crowded out and run out of time. Instead, provide application ideas throughout the study, and increase the amount of suggestions you give your group members for applying the Scripture!

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