Have you realized how important repetition is in order to be an effective pastor teacher?
“To write the same things again is no trouble for me, and it is a safeguard for you” (Philippians 3:1).
“Now, students, as I was saying…”
“Some of you in the congregation have heard me tell of the time…”
“We’re in a series on “Steps to Finding the Perfect Church.” Let’s begin by reviewing the first 153 principles which we covered last week…”
We all repeat ourselves, whether by intention or omission. We seniors get accused of repeating the same stories over and over. (I tell people I’m a pastor, and “Hey—it’s what we do!”)
The Effective Pastor Teacher
The effective pastor teacher not only may repeat himself, but must. Good teaching involves something called spaced repetition. After saying something essential, the teacher goes on to something else or tells a story, then returns and repeats it, often making an additional point.
Your audience is always changing. New people arrive, people grow, people become more teachable than previously, people don’t always “get it” the first time through. So, as a pastor teacher, you’re always repeating yourself.
If you’re wise—and you are—you will not bore your audience by a dull repetition of the previous message, but will find new ways to say the same thing.
Pastor Teacher Example #1: Jesus, the Master Teacher
Want to see our Lord doing this? Watch Him during the Upper Room discourse—John chapters 13 through 16—in which He is preparing the disciples for the days ahead. (We should probably include John 17 in this, since the “High Priestly Prayer” was part of the same evening.)
For convenience sake, let’s say the Lord spent four hours with the disciples in the upper room that night. And let’s say He had four basic subjects to cover. Now, given such an assignment—four topics in four hours—the typical pastor would have spent an hour on each point. Not so our Lord.
They don’t call Him the Master Teacher for nothing.
Jesus braided the four strands of His teaching together, returning to each one throughout the evening. Here they are: