Using the Curriculum:Discipleship tools without borders
teaching how to teach
How To Use THIS
The style of this curriculum is different than most Bible studies because the intent of its use is different. This book is intended to be used as a teacher’s manual for a person that is leading these lessons in an oral teaching style. Two things that make this training unique is the prominence of the biblical narratives and the questions used to study the text. The biblical text is the center and the core of the curriculum and so it takes first place in every lesson. The questions used to lead the discussion are broken into two parts. The first set of questions, titled Questions about the Story, is intended to look deeply at the detail of the text in an exegetical manner. The second set of questions, Discussion Questions, is intended to allow the leader to apply the Bible passage to the students. Each lesson also includes an Introduction to the narrative, goals, scripture memory and related scripture references. It is possible to use these lessons in an interactive Bible study format rather than an oral presentation style but it is helpful for the leader to realize the intent for which the book was written.
An oral Bible study format is defined by two main parts. First, the student must learn the story in order to interact with it. Second, the student must study the text with the mindset of applying it to their lives. These two parts are divided up into the following five parts.
- Tell the Story
- Retell the Story
- Walk Through the Story Together
- Look for the Treasures
- Take Home the Treasures
1. Tell The Story – The goal is to memorize the text as a story. A variety of methods can be used to put the text to memory, but this step requires considerable preparation on the part of the teacher so that it is done well. The telling of the story should be a natural portrayal of the narrative including emotion, body language, actions and voice inflections. It should include a short introduction to give the listeners the setting or context. It needs to be an accurate reproduction of the Biblical text because the words that are used will become the Bible that the listener remembers, adding to or taking away from the biblical narrative is adding to or taking away from God’s Word.
2. Retell the Story – The process of oral learning requires repetition. There are a variety of methods that the teacher can use to help the students recall what was said.
- A person could be asked to retell the story
- Two people could tell the story to one another
- A person could read the story
- The story could be put to song
Regardless of the method, the purpose of step two is to build the students recall of the text.
3. Walk Through the Story Together – Learning as a group in an oral format requires the group to come together on their recall of the story. The purpose of this third repetition of the story is to test or show the listeners how much of the narrative they actually remember after going through the story two times. The purpose of the teacher is to prompt the listeners and solicit responses from them. The emotion, body language, and actions all help the listeners recall the words of the text. There are three common ways to encourage the listeners recall and response.
- Tell small parts of the story and leave blanks for the listeners to fill in.
- Ask questions that cause the listeners to fill in the details of the story.
- Say some statement or fact in the negative and wait for their correction of what should have been said.
These first three steps or repetitions of the story share the one purpose of getting the story into the mind of the listener.
4. Look for the Treasures – The Bible is rich with detail that we easily pass over or do not stop to consider. Looking for the treasures is a process of studying the intricacies of God’s Word and considering what those details mean to the rest of the story. The three aspects of this observation come from the people, from God and from the context. Every story teaches about people and about the Lord and the unity of scripture is seen through common themes. Each biblical narrative comes from a context that includes a setting or background that happens before the story begins and the specific circumstances or situation of the events.
The stories of God’s Word include real people who make real mistakes and real people who show incredible faith. The narratives portray emotion, choices, responses and effects that highlight godly and ungodly behavior. Walking through the experiences of the people in the Bible allows the student of God’s Word an opportunity to learn about godly character and ministry life.
The greatest treasure in God’s Word is the Lord’s revelation of Himself. The Bible is one long story of the Lord’s pursuit of a relationship with man. From the beginning of God’s relationship with Adam and Eve, to the coming of Jesus to earth, God’s mission is visible. By studying God and his interaction with man, the knowledge of God and the doctrines of the Bible are revealed.
5. Take Home the Treasures – Once the treasures have been found, then they only need to be applied to life today. The settings and circumstances of biblical times may have been different than life today, but there is a parallel with what people face now. Making the jump from then to now allows the ancient to apply to peoples lives.
Even more than the setting and circumstances, the people of the Bible relate to people today. People today make mistakes and display great faith. People today need practical examples of how to live for and how to serve the Lord.
However, the ability to live for the Lord can only come from the work of God in a person’s life. It comes first through faith in Jesus and the transformation that he does on the inside. Then it slowly works throughout the whole person so that a person’s head, heart and hands are all changed. The knowledge of God changes the character of the person and that change is lived out in service to others.
May the Lord use these lessons to work this same transformation within your own heart and soul regardless of the specific method that you use as you study.
Pastor Kevin Olson
SUNJEE AND SAMUEL
Samuel and Sanjee Varao are twin 17 year-old boys from India who have felt God’s call to be messengers of His Word. They heard about and started attending an Ambassador Institute class that was being held near their home. When they heard the Word of God through the stories in the AI curriculum, the Holy Spirit changed their lives. They started writing and singing worship songs about the Lord. They asked to be baptized and desired to serve the Lord with their lives. It will be more difficult for them than for other men their age, because both of them had polio. They are unable to move their hands or their feet and spend their days in wheelchairs. Their future plan for ministry is for one of them to sing and the other to proclaim God’s Word.