I get teaching tips from Josh Hunt. Here is one a powerfully agree with:
I was talking to my father-in-law over enchiladas in Hatch, NM (no better place to eat enchiladas than Hatch, NM) yesterday about his lesson that day. He uses Lifeway’s Explore the Bible Series and my Good Questions as a supplement. They are currently in Psalms; yesterday in Psalm 73. Here is the key verse:
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. Psalms 73:1-2 (NIV)
Paraphrased: God, I know you are good, by my life is not going so well right now!
He said this story taken from J. Vernon McGee made the lesson come alive:
It was brought home to me when our first child was born. In the hospital God took that child. I only heard the cry of that little one. All she ever did in her life was cry. I shall never forget the day she died. Across the hall from where my wife was, there was a very wealthy couple who had a baby boy, and their rich friends came to celebrate with them. As I drove into the parking lot in my old beat-up Chevrolet, they all drove up in Cadillacs. They went into the hospital with their champagne and celebrated the birth of the little boy. He was a precious looking little baby — all they desired, I guess. I shall never forget that night. It was summertime, and I went out on a balcony that was there and cried out to God. To be honest with you, I don’t know to this good day why God took our baby and left the baby across the hall. They have money, and, boy, they live it up! I have seen write-ups about them, and they have been in trouble several times. Their little boy is now an adult, as my daughter would be. After all these years, I still don’t have the answer. You may be thinking, You are a minister, and you don’t have the answer? No, I don’t have the answer. Then how can you comfort others? Well, I’ll tell you how. Although I don’t have the answer, I know the One who does, and He has told me to walk with him by faith. He tests me by putting me in the dark. Then I’ll reach out my hand and take his. In His Word He tells me that I can trust Him. Someday He will explain the whys of life to me.
Asaph had a problem like that. Asaph has already said that God is good to Israel — that believing remnant of which he was a part — but this question really bothered him. — J. Vernon McGee.
As we talked about this over enchiladas Billy went around the room and talked about several in the room who had lost a child (including himself) and could really relate to this story. Several were moved to tears.
It is stories like this that are at the heart of every good lesson. Great stories make a great lesson. Everything you can do to find great stories is going to make you a better teacher.
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. Matthew 13:34 (NIV)
Listen to the first part of my message from Sunday morning and you will see that I strongly agree.