Yesterday we explored learning styles, today I want us to take that a step farther as we discuss Instructional Models. There are in my experience four basic models: 1) Large Group Instruction, 2) Small Group Instruction, 3) Individual (one on one) Instruction, and 4) Private (Self-Guided) Instruction.
Taking these models into the Church setting, here is where they fit in.
Large Group Instruction is the area that we excel in. We gather each Sunday and during our worship time one man stands before the entire congregation and presents a lesson. This basic format of this lesson is lecture. Some use visual illustrations, bullet filled computer projected outlines, or handouts to aid in learning. We use a similar format in large adult classes. We also have meetings, lectureships, and revivals that follow this pattern.
Small Group Instruction is a second area we emphasize. Each Sunday and then again midweek, many gather for Bible Classes. These classes are smaller groups divided by age and interest and the can include lecture, handouts, and participation that reaches all three learning styles. Some churches spread out into homes on Sunday evenings with the goal of creating a smaller environment for better learning.
Every preacher, elder, and Bible class teacher of my childhood, teen, and adult years encouraged us as students to spend time in Private Study at home. There are Biblical passages that encourage the same – 2 Tim 2:15, “Do your best (ESV), Study (KJV), Be diligent (NKJ) to present yourselves approved unto God. . .” And do not forget those in Berea who “searched the Scriptures daily.” This is a vital part of our growth.
The instructional model I skipped is the model I think EVERY Christian should pay more attention to; Individual or One on One Instruction. Look at these passages: Titus 2:3ff, 2 Tim 2:2. Women are to teach younger women, Christians are to teach others who can teach others. This is the area where real teaching takes place. This can include dealing with morality issues (Gal 6:1), apprenticeships (think of Paul taking Titus and Timothy with him or Jesus and the inner circle), and this is the model that best suits evangelism (Ananias and Saul, Philip and the Ethiopian, etc).
My challenge for you and me is that we improve on our one to one teaching and encouraging.