It’s probable I’ve mentioned something like this before, though it may not have been in exactly this form.
We all know – and we all hate pondering – that people forget most of what we teach soon after we teach it. So I’m a big fan of finding ways to remind, review, and repackage, giving extended life to teaching we’ve spent so much time on… and that we truly believe is what our people need to hear. (Of course, this only makes sense if you were really purposeful in choosing your topics in the first place!)
One way to do this in a college ministry is to engineer review opportunities for the natural breaks between semesters – Christmas break and summertime.
What if there was a way for students to get re-immersed in ministry-wide teaching from the previous semester (or year)? Or what if their small group learning content was “repackaged” into something that could impact them over the break? Meditating on truths a second time around could dramatically increase their retention – and application!
It’s easy to think students won’t want to relearn content they’ve been exposed to. But this is where the whole “they’ve forgotten it already” reality comes in handy, especially because you can repackage in a format that isn’t exactly what they experienced before. And you may not even need to do a lot of repackaging.
Some examples of ways this could play out, to get you thinking:
- Create a summertime devotional (or suggest a book they can buy on Amazon) that teaches the same book of the Bible or theological topic you studied this spring.
- Challenge students to re-listen to the Large Group Meeting messages once a week over the break, and provide new study questions they can do on their own.
- Offer an online forum that will discuss various themes from the earlier semester more deeply, while allowing students to connect even though they’re in various cities.
- Offer a study, a book of the Bible, etc., that is different from ones you studied this year but that hits a lot of the same themes.
- Let students create a lot of this for you – for instance, for each of the past school year’s teaching themes, find a student who was impacted by that topic. Have them write a testimony and new devotional on that theme.