Six Teaching Ideas

One way to get the attention of the class and get the members involved in the lesson is to use a teaching technique to organize the week’s lessons. Here are some ideas. Illustrations of these ideas come from a 1979 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide titled “The Christian Life and Work,” but the principles are the same for any topic under study. Substitute items from the current lessons as the content for the particular teaching method.

Use a “check yourself” sheet. The example sheet had the following statement as the heading: If you can answer the following questions by the time the quarter is over, you understand the lessons about “The Christian Life and Work.” That statement is followed by six questions or statements for the students to respond to by the end of the quarter: 1. Why is humankind responsible to God? 2. Explain the meaning of stewardship as described in these lessons. 3. Explain and describe the issue of motives as it applies to rewards for good works. 4. What do the issues mentioned in Lessons 4 and 10 have to do with “speeding the Advent”? 5. What does being “rich in good works” have to do with personal salvation? 6. The final lesson deals with “rejoicing in the Lord.” What does that have to do with the other lessons?

Divide the lesson into parts. Make up a series of questions, write them on pieces of paper, and hand them out to class members. Here are some examples: 1. Make up a question from this week’s lesson and ask it to a class member of your choice. 2. Tell briefly everything you know about being “faithful unto death.” 3. List some examples of Abraham’s faithfulness.

Use a “chase” technique. With this technique you are trying to chase down the answer to some perplexing problem, question, or issue. Here’s an illustration of this technique from the Bible study guide mentioned above. “We as Adventists often mention the lack of reverence in our churches. Many times we mention that Roman Catholic services are much more quiet than ours.” Query: What’s the real issue here? Let’s chase down the answer. 1. Is the problem lack of training the church members? 2. Should our church buildings be fancier and more worshipful? 3. Are our church buildings too fancy already? 4. Are any of these the real problem? 5. Could it be that we do not understand what the Bible means by “worship”?

When the chase is finished, summarize the answers to the individual questions and decide on the answer(s) to the initial query.

Analyze a passage of Scripture. The illustrative example involves Luke 12:13-21, quoted in a weekly lesson having to do with motives. Here is the analysis: The rich man in this story is called a fool. First: What was Jesus trying to say when He told this story? (See verses 13-15, 21.) Second: List all the things in this story that the man did right. Give reasons. Third: List all the things he did wrong. Give reasons. Fourth: In what way(s) does this story relate to the issue of motives.

Give a quiz. Lesson 4 in the example series was titled “The Privilege of Work.” Here is a quiz based on that lesson. You can place the questions you create for your current lesson on a sheet of paper and hand it out to the class members, or you can use PowerPoint slides and then use the quiz questions as the basis for a class discussion of the lesson.

1. What do you think the author means when he says “Work has sacramental value”?
2. True or False: When God finished the Creation and established the Sabbath, He stopped working and has not worked since.
3. Check the statements you agree with:
     a.“Work is not a curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means of manhood, and the measure of civilization.”—Calvin Coolidge.
     b.“Man must work. . . . There is no work . . . so dull that he may not enliven it.”—Henry Giles.
     c. The Bible clearly teaches that women are not to be involved in the world of work.
4. If an employer manifests no Christian graces at all, how should his Christian employee react?

Make a statement and ask the class to challenge it. Here are some statements based on the various lessons studied during the example quarter. The teacher conducts a discussion to see how the class feels about them.
1. Lesson 5, “Responsibility for Training.” Statement: “Adventist schools long ago departed from the blueprint and are no longer the best place to send our children.”
2. Lesson 8, “Obligations of the Home.” Statement: “The women’s lib movement has damaged the concept of the home to the point that it is no longer possible to build a home on the principles set forth in this lesson.”


  • Teaching techniques are important.
  • Substitute material from the current quarter’s topic for the illustrations given.
  • Try these techniques and see how they work in your Sabbath School class.

Jim Zackrison
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists