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9 Teaching Methods of Jesus

JESUS ASKED QUESTIONS

Rather than just tell everyone the answer, Jesus led his listeners to conclusions by asking a lot of questions. For examples see Matthew 16:26, or 22:20-21, and check out this cool resource: 173 Questions Jesus Asked.

Questions are a powerful teaching method, especially when teaching to hostile people (like unbelievers). Questions stimulate critical thinking. Good questions make the audience demand answers.

Application: Ask a lot of questions. Don’t underestimate the power of a good question.

JESUS USED VISUAL ILLUSTRATIONS

Jesus often used object lessons to communicate concrete truth to his listeners. He washed the feet of the disciples to teach servant leadership (John 13:3–17). He called a little child to him to discuss childlike faith (Matthew 18:1–4). He described unselfish giving after watching a widow drop two small coins into the temple offering (Mark 12:41–44). When he told the parable of the sower, there is a good chance he was standing near a field.

Visually communicated truth is far more powerful than only spoken truth.

Application: Use objects and visual illustrations. Block out time to be creative and think of ways to communicate your message visually.

JESUS USED REPETITION

Jesus helped his listeners understand and remember his teachings by the use of frequent repetition. He taught the same major themes again and again. For example, Jesus spoke of his death and resurrection over and over again (Mark 8:319:3110:33–34), and his disciples still didn’t get it.

Sometimes people need to hear something many times over before they get it. Plus, teachings that get repeated get remembered.

Application: Re re re repeat. Repetition builds emphasis and breeds memory. What gets repeated gets remembered. Find the main point of your message and say it again and again.

JESUS CREATED EXPERIENCES

It wasn’t enough for people to just listen to his teachings. Jesus gave instructions and called them to do what he said. For example, he didn’t just teach the disciples what to do, he then sent them out to do it and report back when they were done (Luke 9:1–6, 10).

Jesus’ teaching demanded action. But not everyone could handle it, such as the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-23). Our experiences test our faith and teach us more than any sermon ever could.

Application: Don’t just tell them what to do. Provide opportunities for them to do it. Create experiences to apply the lesson. Ask, “How could I help my listeners actually live this out?”

JESUS PRACTICED WHAT HE PREACHED

There is no greater example of a preacher following his own teachings than Jesus. Jesus didn’t just teach on prayer; he often withdrew to pray (Luke 5:16).

Jesus lived what he said. He didn’t just talk a good talk, he walked the walk, even through death on a cross.

Application: Practice what you preach. The greatest lessons we teach come from our lives, not our mouths.

CONCLUSION

If you want to be an effective preacher or teacher, model your methods after Jesus.

Preach the Word, tell stories, be shocking, craft sticky statements, use object lessons, repeat yourself, create experiences and practice what you preach.

Want to take your preaching even further? Check out my preaching books or take my preaching course.

This article originally appeared here.

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brandonhilgemann@churchleaders.com'
Brandon has been on a ten-year journey to become the best preacher he can possibly be. During this time, he has worked in churches of all sizes, from a church plant to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Brandon writes his thoughts and ideas from his journey at ProPreacher.com.