Mark – The Facts.
Being teachers, we tell stories. Good teachers are never without a story. This is fun for most people who have never heard your stories, but not so much for our personal kids who have heard them often. (Smiling). It is important to connect with your “audience”, preaching or teaching, with stories they can picture and think, “Yes, I’ve been there”.
Using stories to teach you get some interesting responses from young students at times. For instance, (I feel a story coming on…), I was telling a story of the vowel family to a small group of first graders gathered around the kidney shaped reading table in my classroom. I told the story with enthusiasm and excitement. I just knew I had their attention. Their eyes were wide. One little girl was even staring at me, although her eyes were not on my eyes. Finally at the end of my riveting story about long and short vowels, she leaned in and said, “Mrs. Callaway, that is a beautiful necklace you are wearing. It is so shiny.”
Most times stories are understood and sometimes they are not. If your student is distracted then it will take a bit more to engage them. It might even take one-on-one time to explain the “moral” of the story in more detail. Where do we learn this technique? From Jesus, of course! What a Master Teacher!
Mark 4, The Message
Never Without a Story
26-29 Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!
30-32 “How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”
33-34 With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.
Think about the next lesson or sermon you are preparing…
–Will the details of my stories relate to the lives of those I am teaching?
–Have I studied all the details concerning the topic at hand so that questions can be explained or references ready to give to those who want to go farther and deeper?
–Have I asked the Holy Spirit to guide each thought, word, body language and other actions as I prepare to teach?
–How do we picture God’s Kingdom? What Kind of story can we use?
–Jesus fit the stories to His audience experience and maturity.
–Jesus went over the details with His followers who wanted to go deeper.
–We do not have all the answers like Jesus did. Don’t be afraid to say to your students, “I don’t know, let’s find out!” Then search and discover together the mysteries of His love, mercy and grace.
–We can learn many teaching techniques by following Jesus example! His example is the basic foundation for all teaching!
Dear Heavenly Father,
You came down to live with us. You taught us how to live and how to teach others. You saved us. You cleanse us and make us whole. You delight in the details of our lives. You are always with us. Thank you, just thank you.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.