Youth around the Church are coming away from Come, Follow Me lessons each Sunday filled with spiritual nourishment that can’t be gained from something as simple as a classroom treat or better handouts.
Instead, these youth are growing thanks to improved efforts made by their teachers to engage them in meaningful gospel conversations that are helping to lead young men and young women down the road of lasting conversion.
As you seek to invite the Spirit and teach as the Savior taught, here are some suggestions from other teachers that could help facilitate meaningful and interesting gospel conversations in the classroom.
Prepare the classroom. This means more than simply writing information on a chalkboard or hanging pictures on the wall. Establish ground rules in which students and teachers listen to one another and express appreciation for what is being shared. This will create an environment in which all can share, teach, and testify.
Develop a spirit of inclusion. You may want to consider beginning each class with a question to which all class members have an opportunity to respond. This could help set the expectation that all are encouraged to participate in the discussion for the day.
Share stories and examples. There is great power in stories, and the Savior, the Master Teacher, used stories extensively to teach truth. You may choose to use stories or examples from your life and stories from the scriptures that make sense to the youth. Using personal experiences that illustrate the principles being taught can help youth see how these principles you are discussing have impacted your own life.
Meaningful discussions are fundamental to most gospel teaching. We invite the influence of the Spirit when we teach the gospel to one another and give respectful attention to one another.
Connect with individuals. When directing a question to specific individuals, get their attention by saying their name. For scriptures or quotes you’d like to discuss, consider letting the youth know what to look for as they read.
Don’t just talk, but listen and invite the youth to ask questions and discover the gospel for themselves. Let teaching be a conversation guided by the Spirit. Remember that true gospel learning can happen only when the Spirit is present.
Consider asking students beforehand to prepare a personal experience or example that will help them and others more readily apply a gospel principle to their lives.
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