We have all heard teachers and educators say that there are different styles of learning. Some folks are more bent toward an auditory approach to learning, being able to process information by just listening to a lecture or sermon. Some have a stronger leaning towards a visual approach, being able to better grasp the material if they can just see it displayed in some form or fashion. And yet there are still others who would be more inclined to a kinesthetic (hands on) approach to learning, where information is better processed by actually doing a particular job or task. Of course, none of this is to say that people can’t learn in different ways or that we will always be locked into one style of learning—only that we usually gravitate towards one more than others.
I learned this truth early on when working with middle and high school students as both an educator and student pastor. Knowing that I tend to lean towards an auditory approach to learning, I discovered early on that not all of the students in my ministry or classroom were the same. As a result, I needed to offer different and supplemental ways of communicating what I was trying to say. Sometimes that meant bringing in strong visuals as object lessons, or orchestrating group activities that allowed students to creatively interact with the ideas of the sermon and/or lesson.
While incorporating different ways of learning is pretty standard in the educational world, it was something that I hadn’t given much thought to as I was preparing for ministry. After all, sermons are mostly delivered in an auditory format, so why try to incorporate alternate ways of delivering the truths of Scripture. However, in thinking this way I failed to realize not only different styles of learning among my students, but just the simple fact that offering different ways to learning actually enhances a student’s understanding of what you are trying to communicate. In other words, simply telling a student how to solve for x in an algebraic equation may not be as effective as showing him, or telling her about the high electron energy level of magnesium when burning versus actually seeing the immense brightness of it when done in the lab.
So, yes, I was right in telling my students that they should love their neighbor as themselves or that they should consider others as more important than themselves, but for some of my students, those truths really resonated with them when we went to the local food bank to help prepare meals for the homeless or brought gifts to homebound members of our church.
Thus, in light of the different learning styles of our students, I’m pleased to announce new resources that will be released this fall for The Gospel Project for Students. With the launch of our new Chronological series, we now offer a Leader Pack, available in both print and digital formats. The Leader Pack is designed to supplement and expand the teaching content contained in the Leader Guide. The Leader Pack includes:
- posters that visually enhance and supplement the material
- leader training videos that equip leaders to prepare for each session
- One Conversation guides that equip families to continue the discussion of God’s Story within the home
- PowerPoint templates with graphics from the quarter study
It is my belief that the Leader Pack will not only equip leaders as they lead both middle and high school students through our chronological study of the Bible, but that they themselves, too, might benefit as they use these resources to personally uncover God’s Story of redemption through each session.