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How Jesus teaches for life change

How we teach can be as important as what we teach. We remember so little of what we’re taught because of the inefficient methods teachers use. Jesus was the consummate teacher – his methods were so powerful because they were experientially based. Studies show you remember much more of what you…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

How we teach can be as important as what we teach. We remember so little of what we’re taught because of the inefficient methods teachers use. Jesus was the consummate teacher – his methods were so powerful because they were experientially based. Studies show you remember much more of what you do than what you hear or read, but teaching that way requires imagination and risk, so we grow up being bored out of our minds in classrooms.

Jesus doesn’t just tell his disciples what to do and expect their lives to change. He gives his disciples five different kinds of venue to interact with a concept, knowing that change, if it’s going to happen, usually happens slowly.

First Jesus tells them about the concept; then he models it – puts flesh to it in a way that the disciples can imitate it. Next, he asks them to try it out for themselves; after they’ve done that, then they talk about it. And once Jesus knows that they’re beginning to master the concept, they get to go through this process with someone else.

Watch how this plays out with the concept of mercy and healing or the concept of bringing hope in the book of Luke:

1. He explains it          Luke 6

2. He models it            Luke 7 & 8

3. They try it               Luke 9

4. They debrief it        Luke 9 & 10

5. They teach others    Luke 10

It’s an awesome thing to watch the disciples go from looking like the Three Stooges to a point of being able to teach others. If we’ll conscientiously copy that pattern, Jesus tells us we’ll experience even greater works than he did.

In a future blog, we’ll apply this model to youth ministry.

Comments (2)

  • Yet after all that Jesus did for three years, the disciples in Christ’s final conversation in John 12-17 did not understand what he was about. This explains one last time what Christ and the Father were after but it took “a restoration strategy” descibed in these chapters to make the disciples truely “one with the Father” as well as with Christ to make Christ’s teaching a reality in their lives.

    See “one with the Father” benchmark at http://www.spiritual-benchmarks.com

  • Yet after all that Jesus did for three years, the disciples in Christ’s final conversation in John 12-17 did not understand what he was about. This explains one last time what Christ and the Father were after but it took “a restoration strategy” descibed in these chapters to make the disciples truely “one with the Father” as well as with Christ to make Christ’s teaching a reality in their lives.

    See “one with the Father” benchmark at http://www.spiritual-benchmarks.com

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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