Bible Stories

5 Reasons Adults Should Learn Bible Stories

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

ible stories are unfortunately usually seen as the stuff of Sunday School, picture Bibles, and children’s messages. It’s true. A general bias I’ve seen from adults in the parish is that Bible stories are cute and may be good for teaching morality lessons, but they’re not all that relevant to us today. We say that Bible stories, much like fairy …

alignment

Why Alignment Matters in Parish Education—and How to Build It

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

—Alignment is the arrangement of all ministries and staff in an educational system around a shared goal. This makes sense on paper, but it is really difficult to achieve in reality. Moving toward greater alignment in the parish, however, can have a really big payoff in the end. Here’s why alignment is so important for parish education—and also a few tips for …

Vocation

A Simple Way to Teach Vocation

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

Why Vocation Matters Applying Scripture to daily life can be a tricky and complicated process for our learners. With all the different voices in contemporary American Christianity, it’s easy to be led astray. Peruse the Christian bookstore, scan the list of pop Christian blogs, watch a popular televangelist—there are many voices. Each one tells us of a different methodology to apply …

Integrating the Catechism into Parish Activities

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

ave you ever wondered how to do a better job integrating the Small Catechism into your parish education activities? After all, we spend so much time on the Small Catechism in confirmation class, and then we say it’s a foundational doctrinal document. Sometimes, though, when we do an educational activity, we have trouble bringing the Small Catechism and Scripture together. Here are …

Finding Motivation in Vocation

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

otivation, in my experience, is one of the key problems we have with youth and adults in parish education. In talking with a variety of adults and young adults (anecdotally, of course), I have found a few reasons for this lack of motivation. As Lutherans, we can take some odd comfort in the reality that the Old Adam will always resist …

How to Transform an Activity into a Meaningful Learning Experience

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

The Issue with Activity In the Wiggins and McTighe book Understanding by Design (ASCD 2005), the authors lay out what they describe as the twin sins of unit design: activity and coverage. And, boy, did they hit the nail on the head for where we often struggle as parish educators. Let me explain. When we parish educators approach teaching a …

Five Kinds of Questions and How to Use Them

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

ersonally, I love asking questions in parish education; they open up so many doors to engagement. Lecture is a useful tool in conveying important information and ideas. Questioning engages the learner in inquiry, discussion, reflection, and so much more. I have found, however, that not all questions are created equal. Different kinds of questions elicit different kinds of answers. If we’re not …

Something to Consider When Asking Questions

Pete Jurchen Teaching in the Parish Leave a Comment

Questions, Lecture, and Engagement In stressful times, parish educators tend to rely on existing methods, or for the sake of this blog, “tools,” for accomplishing educational goals. The primary teaching tool we have in our mental toolbox, I submit, is straight-up lecture. There is nothing wrong with lecturing, sharing, or “talking at” people. As a pastor, oftentimes this is what I …