Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reflections on teaching junior highers

I had the pleasure (and toil) of preparing a Sunday School lesson this pas week for our junior high students. My assigned passage was Genesis chapter 21, verses 1 to 21. This portion relates the birth of Isaac that God promised, and the sending away of Ishmael and Hagar.

I don't intend to give a lesson here, but I did note a few things worth mentioning.
  1. First, when you study the Bible only for yourself, you get something out of it that is very narrowly applicable for you. At least, as someone who went to a missionary school from K-12 and attended a Christian college and seminary, that's what happens to me.
    But, when you study for the purpose of teaching others, you have to take into account their concerns and needs, and suddently what God has to say becomes more broadly applicable. This may be because my perceived needs do not always coincide with any given text.
  2. Second, junior hight students are in the middle of a transition, the cusp of entering young adulthood, and they are a fascinating mix of youthful naivite and hard-bitten realism. The JH's were innocent about personal relationships and yet really struggled with the screwed up dynamics of mixed families.
  3. Third, God surprises you when you seek His message for your people. Something I never would have thought of on my own occurred to me the morning before the lesson, and it changed how the conclusion of the passage would be presented.
  4. Finally, I enjoy teaching the young; there is so much energy there! I just don't know if they learned anything!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Lee! I find myself thinking the same thing every week when I prepare my lesson. Except it's hard to apply biblical truth to a pre-schoolers life... Still there is joy in the challenge!

    Glad you had fun!