Jesus never taught a class. You will find no classes taught by Jesus in Scriptures. He did not teach in a linear way. What he did was something far better.
Jesus had conversations. He responded to questions or things said by people he wanted to disciple or teach. He responded to what they were interested in.
Or he showed something, told stories or parables: he gave interesting, attention grabbing examples. Then continued the mutual conversation.
Sometimes he answered questions. Sometimes he changed the conversation – such as about not being so happy that even demons obey you – don’t lose perspective: what’s important is that your name is written in heaven. Notice that the starting point for changing a conversation or introducing a new idea begins with what the disciple, the person who is learning – what they are saying.
When I mistakenly try to teach people things, they resist – covertly, usually. Sometimes overtly. It does not work out well. And I have tried to do this too often. Too often I have been slow to learn.
But, when I respond to something that someone says or asks, I am building on what they are already interested in. Their motivation is already present. I even build on their metaphors: I use them or change them, or use them as an agent of change (when I transform a metaphor someone identifies with, they may also change.) Or I tell stories or parables or in other ways give examples, just like Jesus did.
This works out very well, I have their attention, interest and motivation: I am talking about things they are already interested in. Much more effective than talking about things I am interested in. Tremendous difference!
Have conversations. Start with where the disciple or the person who is learning already is. Build on or transform their ideas. Like Jesus does. He did it in Scripture, and he still does this in our hearts. You can join with Jesus and do this too.
Disciples and other people will learn more easily, learn better, and are more likely to remain interested and motivated.
If you want to have class outlines of what you want to teach, that’s fine for you. And you can use these powerful points in conversations, demonstrations, examples, stories and parables. Teaching more like Jesus. And teaching less like boring people who are trying to force their ideas onto someone else who is not yet ready, nor yet deeply interested.
Teach more like Jesus. You can do this!