Object Lessons

The baby-food jar filled with water from a nearby creek sat on a table in the middle of the group as I discussed the importance of silence. Later, I shook the jar and compared the busyness of our lives to the swirling sediment. As we contemplated the cost of not seeing clearly and the steps necessary to settle the sediment in our lives, the water slowly cleared.

That day I sent the group members home with their own jar of creek water as a reminder of the need for solitude and silence in their daily lives. When I visit their homes, I smile when I see their jar of creek water sitting on a bookshelf or near the kitchen sink. I know that each glance at the jar is a reminder of the need for silence.

The use of objects can enhance our teaching and make lessons stick. Visual aids can accomplish several objectives.

Relationship building. Collect common objects from around the house, and put them in a bag. Ask each person to take an object out of the bag and answer the question “How are you like the object you picked?” Each time a group member sees one of these simple objects in her own home, she will be reminded of the person who was like that object.

Retaining important insights. Write the word peace on several rocks, and place them in a basket. Have members take out one rock, turn to another person, and say, “The strength of (person’s name) is not the issue; the strength of God is.” Members then take their rocks home as a reminder that God’s strength gives peace.

Making Scripture personal. Find a scriptural passage that applies to the main point of your lesson, and write the verse on several index cards (one for each group member), inserting blanks where members can write their own names in the appropriate place in the verse. For example: “Father, You know the plans You have for ______________. Your perfect plan is to give ________________ hope and a future. If __________________ will call upon You and come and pray, You promise to listen and hear. I pray God that __________________ will seek You. For You will be found when _______________ seeks You with all her heart” (from Jer. 29:11-13). Invite members to exchange the cards and pray the scriptural passage for each other throughout the week.

Sue Skalicky
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists