To reach a new generation, we have to change the way we teach
Learning models are rapidly changing. This is because a contemporary generation processes life differently than the previous one. Many of us run the risk of becoming outdated and antiquated in our approach to teaching and equipping the church.
We should be asking ourselves not "Are we teaching?" but rather "Is anyone learning?"
New models of learning are changing in part because of the influences of a postmodern shift in culture and the proliferation of technology. Some models that have served us well in the past are now irrelevant and need to be discarded.
For most, the change will present a major paradigm shift in the way we currently perceive learning. What are some of the learning models that are shifting in America? How do we embrace and leverage them to reach a generation for Christ? Here are a few to consider:
1. From Greek to Hebraic. Most Western learning models are built upon the Greek method of education. This model says learning comes from the simple acquisition of information and knowledge.
The Hebraic model says one cannot learn something by the mere acquisition of information; rather, one learns by combining information with experience and participation. This is why Jesus called the disciples to "be with Him."
2. From monologue to dialogue. Jesus rarely taught through means of a monologue. When we study Jesus' methods, we find that most of His teaching, especially in the temple, turned into dialogue or a discussion. Why? Because adults learn best by processing and interacting with information. They perceive truth at a deeper level through interaction with the topic and with others.
Postmodern learners desire community and relationship in all areas of life, but especially in the classroom. They learn best by hearing others' views while assessing their own thoughts and experiences. Perhaps we, as teachers, need to open more conversational space instead of trying to fill it with our expert information.
3. From top down lecturing to personal discovery of truth. Studies show that adults learn on a deeper and more meaningful level when they discover truth for themselves. If this is true, then the discovery process itself becomes imperative. (And it's likely why the Bible documents Jesus asking more than 300 questions during His ministry.) Asking powerful questions forces one to process his inner life and engage truth.
We also must see a subtle shift from deductive to inductive preaching and teaching. This means we no longer start our messages with a statement of truth; rather, we seek to end up there. This forces discovery and seeking on the part of postmodern hearers and brings greater buy-in to the truth. I call it the Jesus Method.
The coaching model of learning embraces all these learning models and more. It seeks to come alongside the learner and aid him in personal discovery of the truth. This is done through various skills, including the ability to ask questions, listen intuitively, and offer support, encouragement and accountability. Not surprisingly, the Holy Spirit, as One sent alongside to help, operates in much the same way (see John 14:26).
Learning models are rapidly changing in the postmodern world. Given that, the question that begs an answer is: "Are you staying on the cutting edge, or running to keep up?"
A certified professional coach and trainer, JOHN CHASTEEN is also the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Okla. You can read his blog at heycoachjohn.com
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.
NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.
The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.