Teaching junior highers; I’m not sure a higher calling exists! Churches often make the mistake of seeing junior high ministry as a place for young, or spiritually immature, leaders to cut their teeth and learn the ropes of ministry. This is a massive mistake, largely due to the fact that young teens are in an enormous season of developmental change and it takes a mature leader to help junior highers navigate these changes well.
And one place immature leaders routinely mess up is in the teaching context. While there’s no way to ensure a perfect lesson, I’ve developed a habit over the years that has helped me, and it may help you, too, whether you are a rookie or a seasoned pro.
When I’m done preparing a lesson, I like to run it through the following filter and make any adjustments necessary. I like to ask myself, “Does this lesson T.E.A.C.H.?”
IS IT TRUE?
Have I used scripture in context?
Have I considered the “whole of scripture”?|
Is God’s truth speaking more loudly than my opinions?
IS IT ENCOURAGING?
Does it motivate the audience toward some sort of action?
Does it do so in an encouraging manner?
Does it rely on the Holy Spirit to convict, not my delivery?
IS IT ACTIVE?
Does it involve some aspect of active learning?
Does it allow movement?
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IS IT CLEAR?
Does it make a clear, understandable, point?
Will my audience remember it tomorrow?
Could a junior higher recount some of it to mom and dad in car ride home?
Will they know what the heck I was talking about?
IS IT HUMOROUS?
Is there an element of fun in the lesson?
Laughter helps the medicine go down; do I provide that opportunity?
Is the humor edifying and age-appropriate?
I’m not a comedian, but don’t take myself too seriously!