Teaching in the Savior’s Way, by Brother Devin Durrant
This article appeared in the March 10, 2019 edition of the Church News. It is a wonderful presentation by Brother Devin Durrant regarding ‘teaching in the Savior’s way’.
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How did the Savior teach in mortality? Throughout His ministry, Jesus Christ taught in a variety of situations, such as one-on-one teaching with the woman at the well or small-group teaching with the multitude at the Sermon on the Mount. He was willing to teach all those who were desirous to hear His message and also those who would ultimately reject it.
Responding to the variety of settings, as well as the numbers and attitudes of His listeners, the Savior used a variety of teaching methods. Let’s consider a few:
- He taught through stories such as parables like the sower and the lost coin.
- He taught by referring to common elements that the people understood. Some examples are wheat ahd tares or leaven and water.
- He taught with visual aids. He asked His followers, for example, to “consider the lilies of the field” (Matthew 6:28).
- He taught with analogies. Do you remember His reference to a mustard seed?
- He taught from the scriptures. He guided those He taught to the scriptures by asking: “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (Luke 10:26)
- He taught by asking question. He asked his disciples, “Whom say ye that I am?” (Mark 8:29). He also asked the question, “And who is my neighbor?”.
- He taught with object lessons. He used a Roman coinc with an inscription of Caesar to teach the need of rendering to God that which is His.
- He taught by inviting His learners to act on His teachings. Often He did this by encouraging them to follow His example and do as He did (3 Nephi 27:21).
When asked to teach a lesson regarding a Conference talk or a scriptural passage, the following points should be a great assistance.
- What are the key doctrinal principles in this message? How can I best highlight them using the words of the speaker or words of the passage?
- What scriptures did the speaker refer to or do the footnotes in the scriptures refer one to? What additional scriptures can be share to enrich the message?
- What questions could I ask that would invite the Spirit and elevate the words of the conference message or scripture? Did the speaker extend an invitation or does the scriptural passage urge us to act? How could I encourage class members to act on the invitation?
- What teaching aids did the speaker use or does the scripture refer to that I could highlight? What teaching aids could I use to enhance the message. Would an analogy or a supportive story be helpful? Is there a video I could use? Would artwork or a hymn apply?