Bible Teaching Methods: Methodology for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

This Month's Bible Teaching Method:

Agree/Disagree Statements

Purposely present an ambiguous, perhaps controversial, and thought-provoking statement or series of statements pertaining to the subject. Ask the class to take a stand and discuss their responses. This method may be considered a discussion starter.

In Choosing Teaching Methodology consider your group factors:

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Teacher Training Worksheet Based on These Group Factors:
Tips for Choosing & Using Methods

Group size 
This teaching method is best used in a small group (15 or less members) where interaction is optimal. To use it in a larger class, divide into smaller groups for discussion.

Resources needed 
While you can orally present the statement, you may also want to project the statement or write it on a chalk/white board or flipchart. If you are using more than one statement you may want to use a handout. Seeing the statement in writing will allow students to review it and to keep more focused.

Objective targeted 
Because this method calls for a reaction, it will tend to target attitudes more than knowledge and behavior. Agree/Disagree statements should stir up interest in your students.

Use modeled 
Biblical Precedence: Although He did not use this method quite as presented here, Jesus frequently did make statements to stir up a reaction.
Example:   Jesus was a revolutionary.
(This statement could be taken in a couple ways. If you are studying Matthew 5 you would be considering whether Jesus was an advocate or an abolisher of the law. He came to fulfill the law so in that sense He would be more of an advocate rather than a revolutionary. He took the law beyond traditional measure and so would be considered revolutionary. Your response may depend on whose eyes you look through. He definitely went against the religious tide of His day. This statement could also be used in a study of whether Jesus came to bring peace or the sword.)

Proximity of others 
Noise level shouldn't get above a typical discussion.

Finances needed 
This method can be used without any cost. If you are going to present the statement in a written form, you may incur minimal cost.

Age level 
This method is best used with youth and adults.

This tends to be a group-centered activity if students are allowed to interact with each other regarding their reaction to the statement. Otherwise it will be a dialogue, or two-way communication between the student and teacher.

Time required 
This method will take minimal preparation time although you will want to take sufficient time to craft a good statement. The time it takes in class to implement the method will vary depending on the number of statements you use and the amount of time you allow for discussion.

Openness of group 
If your students are open to discussion, they will do well with this method. There may be somewhat of a threat for some students in taking a stand.

Room size 
Any size room will do. You will want students to sit within hearing range of one another.

Skills needed 

Out of class preparation:

  • Choose statements that will lead into the scripture lesson.
  • Statements may be quotes, headlines, or statements you craft.
  • When choosing or crafting a statement, be sure it is one that is ambiguous, meaning that there is more than one way to look at it. The statement should not be obviously right or wrong.

In class presentation:

  1. Read the statement(s).
  2. Ask students to indicate whether they agree or disagree with the statement. This can be done by raising hands or by standing if they agree and remaining seated if they disagree. You could designate one side of the room for those who agree and the other side for those who disagree with those undecided in the middle.
  3. After students take their stand, ask someone who agreed to state why he/she agreed. Then give opportunity for someone who disagreed to relate his/her reasoning. Continue to allow people to explain their stands until you get all the issues out which you would like to draw into the lesson.
  4. Make a transitional statement perhaps summarizing the discussion and then move into your Bible study.
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(Last updated 1/01/17)