DO YOUR CLASSES DO ANYTHING?
T. PIERCE BROWN
For more than half a century I have been attending Bible classes, and do not remember ANY regularly scheduled ones where the teacher AND the class appeared to PLAN for the class do ANYTHING except talk and listen.
During my earlier years, most of the adult classes, and some of the younger ones, would have the class member read the verse and comment on it–perhaps discuss its meaning or application. Some of the most profound and accurate statements regarding the meaning of the verse would be, “It means what it says.”
As we advanced in wisdom and stature, some of our more learned brethren put at the end of a lesson some “practical suggestions” or “application.” Then if the “teacher” could get some good brother or sister to read it aloud so it could be heard more than two seats away from the reader, he would pronounce it “good” and close the lesson just as the bell rang.
Some of our trained educational directors could point out many other startling or innovative advances in the pedagogical field, but I rarely find any widespread practice of making ANY of our classes (especially adult classes) a class in DOING. Does ANYONE have a record or recollection of ANYONE ever praying, “Lord, we thank thee for the wonderful lesson we have heard. Now help us to put into practice in our daily lives what we have heard,” and the actually DOING it? Do those of us who teach and/or preach really PLAN for them to, or structure the class where they will do it?
The following information, condensed from an 8 1/2 x 11 format, I pass out to my students, requesting that they turn it in at the beginning of the following class period. I emphasize these four things, then let them do the rest: You must first RECOGNIZE the main idea of the lesson before it can be worth much to you. What is it? Second, you must RELATE it to your own personal life in some way. How have you? Third, you must ASSIMILATE IT, or use it in some action. What action do you plan to take? Fourth, you should begin such action as soon as possible. When did you or will you start such action?
Why do you not try something like this in your classes and see what happens? If you do not plan for anything significant to happen, it probably will not.