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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Group Processing

This morning we had a Sunday school class where we were investigating the notion of “encouragement.”  I have shared in an earlier post the importance of questions to help people process information.  That was validated this morning again, in a big way.
Asking questions in a group rather than sharing what you know, engages both the group's minds and gifts.
If you have an assignment to lead a Sunday school class the pull is to have to perform, to really nail the subject, especially if you have any shade of the gift of teaching.  The pull is to talk about %75 - %100 of the time.  In some cases that is required, especially if the topic is incredibly technical (one might ask if it is that technical – why cover it in Sunday school, but I won’t).  If you follow the pull that means that for the most part the only gifts that will be engaged in the class are yours.  While that may be the most efficient use of the time, it may not be the best way to transfer information.

This morning we looked at four verses and I asked the group in each case what they observed.  That meant that they had to think through the verse and then tell the group what they saw.  That process engaged them both in thinking through the texts and it also engaged their gifts.  Each person will view the scripture through the lenses of their experience and their gifts.  In every case that I have used this approach, every case, people have seen things that I have not, every case, every time.  Additionally, the verbal processing, the interaction between the people in the class, requires engagement that will increase the retention of the information.  Try it.  You will have to prepare more, and you will not be in as much control, but it is well worth the effort and the risk.

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