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Teaching Sunday School

When teaching a bible study class, I find there is one person who always wants to debate the Bible during our lesson. What is the best way to handle this growing problem?

Moderator - Let them know that they can talk to you after the class and now is not the best time.

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 ---Kimberly_Sleets on 8/18/11
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+1 and a tip of the hat to Eloy - very good answer - works on multiple levels
---Rocky on 9/9/11


At the beginning of your Bible class, have everyone bow their heads for a word of prayer, and specifically ask Jesus to be with the class and to help us all stay focused on the subject of the lesson. Tell the person, "Thank you kindly for your reponse, now back to the to today's topic that we are studying, do you have coment or question specifically about today's lesson?"
---Eloy on 9/8/11


Brothers....I think not. Yet.
---Trav on 9/8/11

Trav

I truly do feel sorry for you, it must be a miserable existence to be so devoid of Gods purpose and so full of your own selfcenterdness.

Again, you don't know me or my willingness to reach out to the lost, God used me to lead three people to Christ just last weak, so don't tell me.

I truly hope you are working for the Lord, and your right in saying you dont have a ministry for your not ready for one yet.

Your lack of love for god's people is evident in that.

Hope you get it right soon for the night comes when no man can work.

Paul
---paul on 9/8/11


Trav
You see exactly what your kind of ministry lends itself to.
I don't know what you are taught in your Church ....
---paul on 9/8/11

Ha...nice diversion. I've never claimed a ministry. Church's teach nothing now. My Lord and OT Prophets instruct me.
I search for Lost Sheep. As my Lord did. Matt 15:24. I point to the witnesses. When "sheep" search for them.
You sir don't.
Scripture posted has only challenged your ministry, I see no scriptural mark of it, rather avoidance.

Brothers....I think not. Yet. If ever.
James 4:4
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
---Trav on 9/8/11


It seems to me that this thread has taken a very unchristian turn.
---Rocky on 9/7/11

Trav


You see exactly what your kind of ministry lends itself to.

Many people here including myself have attempted to befriend you and you want none of it.

I don't know what you are taught in your Church but It is not love of the brethren or your not enacting it.

With that said I bid thee fare well, I will not drag Jesus through the mud on an attempt to prove you wrong.

I think you do a fine job of that with out my help.

I love you brother and hope you can see your fate for I desire to spend eternity with you all some day.

Paul
---paul on 9/8/11




Research?? How about an interpreter. You made the point just fine without your research.
There is nothing you can tell anyone.....scripturally. Or you would have confirmed in that manner.
---Trav on 9/7/11

Trav

Are you saying that the only tongue is one which has an interpreter?

And that their are not any other.

Your comments are so vague it is hard to tell what you are getting at.

What EXACTLY do you believe about tongues?

And you may want to invest in a version of spell check.

Paul
---paul on 9/7/11


It seems to me that this thread has taken a very unchristian turn.
---Rocky on 9/7/11


Tell you what, I have all the answers God will allow about tongues for I have great research on it.

Ask and I will answer, hows that, Im tired of your BASELESS accusations so shoot.
Paul
---paul on 9/7/11

Research?? How about an interpreter. You made the point just fine without your research.
There is nothing you can tell anyone.....scripturally. Or you would have confirmed in that manner.
1 Corinthians 14:6
Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

And so by lack of is a witness as well.
---Trav on 9/7/11


Trav

I never said Gods Word needs my help, what I said is we can use other resources to teach us how to apply the principles we find in Gods Word much like you use a stove to cook the meat you buy so you can eat it.

I offer nothing new only ways to apply Gods Word, whats wrong with that?
Are you opposed to Christian counseling which is Gods Word applied?

As far as tongues I dont answer it because people here dont truly desire to learn about it so it is not worth my time posting answers or teachings on it.

Tell you what, I have all the answers God will allow about tongues for I have great research on it.

Ask and I will answer, hows that, Im tired of your BASELESS accusations so shoot.

Paul
---paul on 9/7/11


Trav
You have no clue what I do for the sheep, nor can you.
If so why do you not follow His Word?

Paul
---paul on 9/7/11

You applied not his words.
Baseless? Can't know? So far I've seen you say GOD's word needed your help.
And for $$$$.$$ buy my greater love wisdom.
I've seen a so called minister run. (Noted in scripture)
Post opinion with no scripture backing the gift tongue opinion.
Sign a blind man can read.
Job 24:13
They are of those that rebel against the light, they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
---Trav on 9/7/11




Love those sheep. Exposing,probing self elected preachers who don't fully utilize scripture is a passion. Calling themselves ministers but, ad-minister unto themselves.
---Trav on 9/7/11


Trav

Once more your judgmental ignorance rears it's ugly head.

You have no clue what I do for the sheep, nor can you.

Why do you persist in hurling baseless accusations, they will not work out well for you in the day of judgment.

Are you a Christian, do you Love the Lord?

If so why do you not follow His Word?

I pray God will shine Hie light into your dark heart.

Paul
---paul on 9/7/11


As far as me lying i decided to come back to minister which is a choice not a lie.
You don't like anyone you pose as a threat do ya trev.

Paul
---paul on 9/6/11

Love those sheep. Exposing,probing self elected preachers who don't fully utilize scripture is a passion. Calling themselves ministers but, ad-minister unto themselves.
Ezekiel 34:2
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds, Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
---Trav on 9/7/11


In your case undereducated of scripture.
You have taken on the title of minister. Yet you show not the mark of it here.
GOD's people/ministers do not run as you did lying, saying you were leaving....then come back for more.
---Trav on 9/6/11


Trav

You have no incline of my education and I do make a mark here.

I'm sure you read all the posts where people are appreciative of my contributions.

So don't try it with me,you have never stumped me on anything so why do you attempting to smirk at my educational wherewithal.

As far as me lying i decided to come back to minister which is a choice not a lie.

You don't like anyone you pose as a threat do ya trev.

Paul
---paul on 9/6/11


So it's not just the members of Cnet you have a problem with, it is your own brothers and sisters in your own congregation that you have disdain for as well.
You have a major problem with treating God's people right.
---paul on 9/5/11



Brothers,Sisters never. Called the overeducated by men writers of the quarterly that were pharisee's out of touch with scripture. In your case undereducated of scripture.
You have taken on the title of minister. Yet you show not the mark of it here.
GOD's people/ministers do not run as you did lying, saying you were leaving....then come back for more.
They also follow scripture showing the prophetic witnesses to bear up their's.
---Trav on 9/6/11


Despite the overeducated denom pharisees.
Had some interesting times, and was blessed for the sifting.
---Trav on 9/1/11

So it's not just the members of Cnet you have a problem with, it is your own brothers and sisters in your own congregation that you have disdain for as well.



I asked for volunteers,
---Trav on 9/1/11

And I hope this does not mean that you are any kind of Christian leader to the poor people you so carelessly just judged.

You have a major problem with treating God's people right.

Paul
---paul on 9/5/11


Trav, and I agree with you also. If you "stick" to those little quartly(s), as designed, the "students" will learn very little. Next, they won't have to even show up. They can do their "lessons" at home as many do.
---Elder on 9/5/11


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The main problem today is all of the answers are not in the little books the "teacher" reads to the class.
Teachers should study to learn to teach. We refuse to use the quartly books with the self contained lessons that cause no one to study.
---Elder on 8/20/11

I agree with you on this. We used the quarterly's, but noticed they were politically correct and would skip large or pertinent scripture.
I asked for volunteers, weekly for the first three questions,the second and so on.
We discerned the writers abscence or adherence the next week and utilized all the scripture around the quarterly questions. Despite the overeducated denom pharisees.
Had some interesting times, and was blessed for the sifting.
---Trav on 9/1/11


witness of five virgins ...maybe?

1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag...
---aka on 8/29/11

Never tied these two. Give the parallel and other scripture tying.

Liked your statement on concepts unseen or spoken.

Sometimes, the witness is what is not said in scripture. For instance, gambling is not found described in scripture as we think of it. Everything we do can be considered a gamble. Buy property. Invest in Shares, Cattle, Farming, Mining or go to college for training for a career that may not be in demand.
The Gamble is not a Gamble with GOD as our GOD....
---Trav on 8/30/11


witness of five virgins ...maybe?

1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip, and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
---aka on 8/29/11


//A teacher or preacher, shouldn't be teaching without a very good knowledge of what they are talking about.//
---michael_e on 8/26/11

Agreed.
on the other hand, a student should not be learning unless they are willing to submit with discipline.

sometimes, the greatest things learned are concepts that are not spoken.
---aka on 8/27/11

Agree with both of you guys.
Is no debate in scripture when all witnesses are found....examined.

The debate is with GOD, most searchers recognize it.

It's not popular here as seen, to ask for a Prophet tying to Christ or Apostle.
Isa 8:20
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
---Trav on 8/29/11


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//A teacher or preacher, shouldn't be teaching without a very good knowledge of what they are talking about.//
---michael_e on 8/26/11

Agreed.

on the other hand, a student should not be learning unless they are willing to submit with discipline.

sometimes, the greatest things learned are concepts that are not spoken.
---aka on 8/27/11


// What is the best way to handle this growing problem?//
A teacher or preacher, shouldn't be teaching without a very good knowledge of what they are talking about.
---michael_e on 8/26/11


Kimberly, I believe in any Bible study class a student should be able to ask questions concerning what is been taught that day. It's understandable that the teacher has a topic he has prepared, but he also should be ready to answer any questions concerning that topic. I remember once asking a question and the teacher got all push out of shape because I asked the question that she, not he, imbarrassed me in front of everyone. It was a simple question concerning the topic and I had studied all night and had questions. After that I did not return back to that study. She took all the passion I had in learning for a few days. The pastor later apologized to me about the incident why he, been present did not say anything.
---Mark_V. on 8/24/11


Kimberly
Why does this person wants to debate you, is it not because they disagree with your interpretation of the Bible?
What if you were in a Bible class taught by "Jim Jones" and he said, "Jesus is not the Son of God".
Would you debate him?

It is due to the lack of debate in the Church that has enabled the many false teachings, to flourish in the Church.
How do you know that what you teach is the Truth? Did You receive it from divine revelation, or are you merely teaching your Church doctrine?
There are many "Christian" doctrines, but can all be from Christ?
Jesus used Questions to expose the Pharisee's, and we must use questions to expose these teachings.
---David on 8/22/11


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Well, if the issues brought up are important, deal with these issues. But if the person is bringing up mainly doctrinal questions and not about how we need to live, I would say keep bringing people to what the Bible means for how we live, not just to how to explain things and what to believe. And pray for you and the person. Also, you can point out that different Christians need to give what they have to offer, and not just give arguments.
---Bill_willa6989 on 8/20/11


I think the mod gave the best answer. There is not enough time to really debate and get deep into the Sunday school lesson. That is the main problem. I think. But a persons questions and concerns are important. If the teacher does not have the answers,patience and godliness to make their students questions a priority, should not be a teacher,of any kind.But there should be guidelines in a sunday school class(time should be considered and order should always be maintained).If the teacher can get back to the student with the question/s) that would be great. If the teacher does not have the answer, bring it up to the pastor of someone else in the congregation, who might have the answer. But questions do need answers.
---Robyn on 8/20/11


Kimberly- Sleets, I love for your efforts, but in reality this is a problem of most churches, the majority of pastors just appoint anyone willing to teach, in this very important function. what should be done (most pastors will disagree) is that You ghet the proper formation, you probably are in a disciplegroup, but most churches have lacking systems concerning teaching the teacher in how to teach.
most nondenominational churches are affraid that this will turn them into denomination, but you should put this problem to your pastor, he'll be willing to help. i believe
---andy3996 on 8/20/11


When I hear the "debate" word it normally means the "teacher" doesn't have an answer for the question asked.
A Sunday School class is supposed to be just that, school. A Teacher is supposed to answer questions. The main problem today is all of the answers are not in the little books the "teacher" reads to the class.
Teachers should study to learn to teach. We refuse to use the quartly books with the self contained lessons that cause no one to study.
---Elder on 8/20/11


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then there need to be a change in instructors because the current instructor clearly lacks competence.
---Blogger9211 on 8/19/11

Alot does hinge on the format, but it would seem if she is uncomfortable with this that it is not a Q & A session.

As a teacher I did not like being forced off coarse but as a Pastor now I welcome questions as I teach.

It inspires me to know that people are taking an interest in Gods Word.

But a contrary spot lighter I will still cut short simply because of intent.

Paul
---paul on 8/19/11


first,maybe be Thankful? atleast one person is paying attention,is thinking,is asking questions,is not there for social graces? and then like alot of others say,"lets meet after class?"
---kevin5443 on 8/19/11


Ignore the problem and they will go away. Seriously! Just act like they aren't there. When they ask you why you aren't acknowlegding them, just tell them the truth that they are monopolizing the class.
---KarenD on 8/19/11


Tell them what a collage prof. once told the class, if the question is not really part of the subject being taught at that time, see me after class to discuss it. If it is part of the class subject, give a brief answer, and see me after class for more details. If you don't know the answer, say so, but that you will research it and give the answer next week. This way you don't give the appearance of just "dodging" a question. Just make sure this person is just not seeking to disrupt the class, or trying to promote themselves. Make sure they have a Bible reference to back up what they want to debate - this will save you from losing focus on the currant subject.
---wivv on 8/19/11


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\\warning: after this, it might be hard to teach from english-driven single verse theology.\\
---aka on 8/19/11

AMEN, brother !!!

Like Scott1 and Blogger9211 wrote, it depends on the age of the students and the format of the class.

I would not discourage the student from pressing, enquiring, challenging, etc.

This could be the next great theologian in you class.

Another possibilty is that maybe God is trying to disrupt a stale, meaningless Sunday School cirriculum, and this student is just the remedy.

Maybe you could meet with the student on Saturday to discuss the lesson beforehand. This would allow him to say his peace, and you wouldn't be caught off guard the next day.
---James_L on 8/19/11


This has also happened to me a number of times.

While I agree with the Moderator and Paul, my approach is a little different.

As we know, Scripture confirms Scripture, so I always have another verse to illustrate my viewpoint. Perhaps they will also but that is my strategy.

My classes require you to prove your viewpoint with Scripture. Usually, people do not have Scripture ready. Most of the time, people have heard someone say something about this and they can't quite remember what they heard. Few have done any significant studying on it. Most are testing you to see how you compare to their favorite teachers. They believe their favorite teacher and they do not believe you if you contradict their favorite teacher.
---Mark_Eaton on 8/19/11


Paul, we do not know the format of the class, if a formal curriculum is being used, the quality/accuracy of the curriculum the ability of the instructor to follow the curriculum.

I have seen good teachers and terrible teachers. And I have seen teachers who were experts on a subject but could transmit information in a comprehendible format to others.

In this instance we do not know all the information need to make an effective evaluation. We do not know if the students are youth or adults. But if the class format is an adult discussion and he/she can't manage the dynamics of an adult discussion group, then there need to be a change in instructors because the current instructor clearly lacks competence.
---Blogger9211 on 8/19/11


If you can't handle it quit teaching.
---Blogger9211 on 8/18/11

Blogger

What about the option that this is a teacher student format, which requires a student to honor the teacher with enough respect to finish her lesson.

Questions are welcome after class.

I have been here and when you are trying to teach a lesson and someone (typically someone who feels more qualified) is continually disrupting class you can not do what God desires you to do, finish the class.

If it is followed by morning service you only have so much time before service starts.

The teacher studied all week, let them teach, ask questions after class.

Paul
---paul on 8/19/11


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Much is dependent on the format of the class if it is a lecture then there is little discussion.

If it is a discussion class it is free forum and no questions are out of bounds and debate should be encouraged.

If you can't handle it quit teaching.
---Blogger9211 on 8/18/11


do what they (Paul and Mod) say. then, go home and study the bible and not just selected verses from the Bible. it would help to have a greek and hebrew concordance. warning: after this, it might be hard to teach from english-driven single verse theology.
---aka on 8/19/11


I do not know the age of the person you are talking about. Do you feel that the debate he/she is asking is legitimate questions or just questions to cause a stir. If it is legitimate debate where he is seeking information don't quench it but do answer questions after class or with someone who has the time and knowledge.
---Scott1 on 8/19/11


Kimberly

I have had this happen a bunch of time and as tactful as possible I explain that I am teaching and If they see it another way that is fine but today I am teaching.

Don't dwell on it or give them a chance to respond, move on with your next point or continue your thought.

You can let them know you are open to discuss after class.

Your class can quickly turn into a disorderly free for all if you don't maintain order and demand attention.

I have had people get up and leave before and that shows their immaturity and lack of respect.

If you are teaching what Gods Word says and you realize you will stand accountable for what you teach then do the best you can and keep on going for God.

Paul
---paul on 8/18/11


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