Teaching with Understanding

ID-10063645One of the most encouraging things we hear from teachers and small group leaders who use our curriculum is how much they are learning as they study the lessons. It may be that some biblical truth is being explored for the first time or in a different way. But more often, I think it’s a certain truth being explained in a way that is more easily grasped. I know this is true for me. For example, appropriate visuals and illustrations used for teaching children help me to more fully comprehend abstract or difficult concepts. Careful, accurate, yet simple definitions and explanations lead me to a deeper understanding of the text. When I understand something more fully, it helps me communicate to the children I lead. It also guards me from being simplistic in my teaching. Consider these words by R. C. Sproul:

A great teacher can simplify without distortion. This is the supreme test of understanding. If I truly understand something, I ought to be able to communicate it to others. There is a vast chasm that separates the simple from the simplistic. Jesus, the greatest teacher ever, taught in simple terms. But He was never simplistic. To oversimplify is to distort the truth. The great teacher can express the profound by the simple, without distortion. To do that requires a deep level of understanding. The great teacher imparts understanding, not merely information. To do that the teacher must understand the material being taught.

(“A Great Teacher Can Simplify without Distortion,” www.ligonier.org )

 (Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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