How Does it Work?
In my second year of teaching at Bible College, a tradition began. I’m not entirely sure how it got started, believe a student jokingly asked me for Kentucky Friend Chicken. I agreed, and ended up buying it for all of the students.
Eventually buying KFC for everyone after the classes final exam became our traditional form of celebration.
While I’m sure the students enjoyed KFC, the most important part of that meal wasn’t the chicken…..
It was the conversation while eating our chicken.
Often during class questions would come up about how to practically apply what what he had been learning, or how it worked in daily life. There wasn’t always time to emphasize application during class itself, so meals together (both the celebratory KFC, and college meals) were spent talking about how to live out what we learned.
Those meals may have been more important to students than class because it answered the question “so what?”
This application step of teaching because it helps students understand
- Why this information is important
- What chance it should bring to their lives
- And how they can help that change take place
Sadly many teachers (myself included) have overlooked the importance of applying the information we teach, expecting the students to apply it themselves. This does great damage to the class because it’s the teachers job to build excitement in students (not the other way around). And one of the best ways of creating excitement is to show how the material can help them spiritually.
A big part of this is not only explaining how this works in class, but also taking it for a “test spin.” Over chicken we would discuss how the material in class could apply to different scenarios they experience at Bible College, or in the ministry. As the material becomes a principle of life that can help with ministry challenges, their excitement soars.
Foundationally our discussions around KFC show that truth must be applied. Having an understanding of theology is definitely useful, but if it DOESN’T IMPACT YOUR LIFE, what good is it? Theology along with other truth is meant to affect not only our head, but our hands.
Our meals together helped me reject the “dump truck method” of teaching that simply dumped a huge amount of information into students minds, and then left them to sort it out. Because teaching in the end teaching isn’t about covering the material, it’s about transforming the student.