Every time we put together a service, we want to make what we are doing memorable for those in our congregation. Whether it is a child, a teen, or an adult, the goal is the same. We want the lesson we are teaching to stick with those who are hearing it. And more than likely it won't be the whole lesson they remember, but it's very possible that one moment will stick. So we have to make as many memorable moments in our lessons as we can. Now, there is no sure fire way of doing that. After all, we have all prepared lessons that we thought were going to be awesome only to see them fall flat, or taken a lesson that we were not sure would work and see people really respond to it. So, there isn't a foolproof way to make memorable moments, but there are a few things that when incorporated generally help. And though, we usually deal primarily with children, they can be helpful for any age group.
1) Don't just read...make the lesson fun.
I know, this seems like a no brainer, but how many times have you seen someone stand up in front of a group and then just simply read a lesson. Or perhaps the teacher doesn't have much inflection in their voice. These are things we have to work hard not to do. Now, I'm not saying you can never read something. Sometimes there might be a brief passage that you want to quote properly and so reading it is appropriate, but just standing and reading for an entire lesson simply isn't memorable. Move, smile, change your voice, change your inflection. The lesson should feel like you are chatting with a friend, not performing and essay. If what your teaching is fun, there is a great chance that it is also memorable.
2) Incorporate more than one of the senses.
The more senses involved in a lesson, the better someone will remember what is being taught. Is your Scripture focused on the woman with a jar of oil? Perhaps you can bring in some oil and let the kids touch it. Will you be learning about John the Baptist? Bringing in some wild honey for the kids to taste will bring the lesson to life. Will you be talking about faith the size of mustard seed? You can buy small containers of mustard seeds at nearly any grocery store. The kids will love seeing how small they really are. Don't be afraid to use multiple senses in your lesson. The more you use, the better they will remember what they are being taught.
3) Teach the point through many avenues
Let's say that your lesson focuses on caring for each other as Christ cares for us. Your game could be a cooperation game where the team has to work together in order to win. There could be an activity where the kids all have to complete a task (such as throwing a ball into a basket), but give each group a problem they have to overcome in order to complete the task (like making one of them pretend to have two broken arms, or blindfolding one). They will have to figure out a way to help the person who has the challenge so that they all can finish the task. You could even choose songs for the day that focus on how God cares for us such as Jonathan Shelton's "Counting on God" or Group Music's "His Great Love." All these things together add to and build up the teaching time where you will bring out the Scripture of the day and help continually focus the listeners attention on what the lesson is...which will lead to more opportunities for memorable moments.
It takes a lot of planning an preparation to bring about memorable moments, but it's worth it. Why? Because God often brings those memorable moments back to our minds just when we need them most and they help us draw ever closer to Him.
Until next week...