When I begin think about teaching adult bible study curriculum there is an old illustration that comes to mind. I am not sure if this story is true but it the message behind it definitely rings true. The story goes that there was a pastor who preached a message one Sunday morning. Many people of course said amen repeatedly and told the pastor that he had preached a great sermon. Then the next week the pastor stood up and preached the exact same sermon again. Many people were perplexed but no one said anything. Then the next week the pastor preached the same message. And the following week the same thing happened again. Finally, people were very concerned about their pastor and decided they needed to confront him. They asked if he was aware that he was preaching the same sermon over and over again and asked why he was doing it? The pastor calmly answered, “Since no one was living out what I was teaching I figured you needed to hear it all again. And I will continue to teach the same thing until you begin to live out the message and show me you understand.”
While this story may seem crazy and this pastor’s methods may have been overdoing it a little, the lesson is something we all can take to heart. When we are teaching adult bible study curriculum you need to reteach the concepts occasionally. Because quite often hearing something once or for an hour is not enough. Sometimes this is because people do not pay attention but other times this is because there are some hard concepts you are having to cover. We cannot assume that what we taught sunk in automatically the first time. There are often times people will not grasp various concepts. And if they do not fully grasp what was taught how can they take ownership of the lesson and begin living it out? So you must do what you have to to make sure they can take the knowledge you are trying to impart and then live it out. This may mean doing review at the end of class. This may mean teaching the same thing the next time you get together. Whatever it is you need to place a value on making sure that the lessons are understood and taken to heart regardless of what that means you have to do.
Teaching adult bible study curriculum is a very important job. Regardless of how good you are people will not necessarily understand everything the first time you teach. You must be willing to reteach things on occasion so that not only can the people in your group comprehend what was taught but also begin living it out.