Teaching Adults Like Children?

Important Note:  I have since realized that the following post, though certainly my raw and honest thoughts at the time, is very critical and not the way I would like to handle myself on this blog.  So please keep that in mind if you choose to read this.  For more information on this, read my more recent post here.

There is a certain teaching style that really bothers me.  I find it incredibly boring and it makes me want to get up and leave.  It is when questions are asked to the group/class that are completely obvious.  And, for some reason, this method seems fairly common in Christian circles.  Here is an example:

Let’s say the teacher reads a Bible verse.  Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Then they ask the question, “Who has sinned?”  Now the audience all knows the answer because it couldn’t be any more obvious.  But most people are not going to want to answer the question because answering such an obvious question like that feels stupid.  So the room stays silent until someone finally answers just to keep the teaching moving along.  Then the teacher asks, “What has everyone fallen short of?”  Again the answer couldn’t be any more obvious.  We just read it five seconds ago, there is no need for such a question!  It’s a complete waste of time.  Again, nobody wants to answer.  It is not enjoyable at all to answer questions like this.  The reason there is so much silence with these kinds of questions is not because hardly anyone knows the answer, it is because it feels very annoying to have to answer them.  I think it makes the audience feel dumb.

Why do people feel the need to teach this way?  I really don’t get it.  I can see how this teaching style may be more effective for children, but I see no positive aspect of it for adults.  If you want good audience participation, ask questions that are not obvious, or ask for people’s thoughts.  Otherwise, don’t ask questions at all.  Keep the teaching moving along.  If you have read Romans 3:23 to us, we know that “all” have sinned, and we know that they fell short of the “glory of God”.  No need for questions on that.  It’s right there in the verse.

Have you encountered this?  Or do you find yourself teaching adults this way?  I’d enjoy hearing feedback.


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