Having a Good “Hare” Day

A 4-week-old Netherlands Dwarf rabbit from a litter of four in St. Catharines, ON, Canada (Wikimedia Commons, Aaron Van Dyken).

A 4-week-old Netherlands Dwarf rabbit from a litter of four in St. Catharines, ON, Canada (Wikimedia Commons, Aaron Van Dyken).

“I never lecture,” the teacher bragged. “Lectures bore teenagers. I just throw a topic out there and let them talk about it.” It is true—lectures can be boring. They can also be entertaining and insightful. The discussion method can be helpful in finding the Scripture’s truth as well.

At times, however, either the lecture method or the discussion method can nourish or starve spiritual growth. It is easy to digress into “rabbit-chasing.” Here are some hints to help you have a good “hare” day with a lecture:

1. Know when to give a lecture. Sometimes teenagers can’t understand a biblical passage without some historical, contextual, or factual background. A quick way to give that background is with a mini-lecture.

2. Know what you are talking about. Study the scriptural background material. You may also find a one-volume Bible commentary to be very helpful.

3. Know and tell how the background material relates to the session’s theme. You do not need to tell all that could be told (even if it did take you a while to read it and even though some of it was new and interesting to you).

4. Be excited about what you are going to share. Do not ever begin with an apology (“Sorry I have to give you a lecture, but…”). You have important information to share. The session will go much better if your youth have this information. Share it positively. (“Let me share with you some interesting facts about…”).

5. Use handouts, overheads, an outline on the marker board, a time line, or other visual aids. This helps those who learn best through visual learning styles to follow and appreciate your lecture.

6. Use eye contact. Do not read your lecture. Visual aids (see above) can help you organize and present your lecture while keeping eye contact at the same time.

7. Keep it short. The lecture method is sharing basic facts. That does not take long.

8. Keep your insights to yourself. It is best for the teacher not to share through a lecture the insights gained through reflection of the background material. Instead, help your young people discover their own insights through other teaching methods.

Rick Jordan has many years of youth ministry experience and currently serves North Carolina churches as a resource coordinator.

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