Jesus involved his disciples in a special style of learning experiences. And as rock-solid teachers, we have the privilege of following the Master Teacher's model. Consider the three different aspects of learning situations: awareness, truth, and experience.
- Awareness. Awareness is when the student's motivation has been developed. The student hungers for the content of the lesson. Teaching for awareness occurs when you build the need for knowledge in a student's life. Bruce Wilkinson states that when you build the need, you provide the main method of motivation in a student's life. This is our primary calling, because it brings the student's real need to the surface before we teach him or her the "content."
- Truth. Truth is often the first aspect that comes to mind when we think of a biblically based learning situation. Truth means relating the story of God's relationship to people through his Word and communicating statements of doctrine that give life to learners. I call this the "true truth" that people naturally search for—"true truth" because "truth" is sometimes put in quotation marks in the postmodern world. By truth, we mean the rock-solid basis of teaching: "Your word is truth" (John 17:17).
- Experience. Not all events are experience.! Two words from the New Testament are translated "know." One, oida, often means "to know as certainty;"; the other, ginosko, means "to know in one's life." We'd use the word experience to describe the latter. This kind of knowledge comes from the street. It represents truth in shoe leather—learning from the school of reality. Teaching with experiences means helping students discern and interpret experience according to the standards of God's Word.