the weblog of Alan Knox

Working on Teaching Outline of 1 Corinthians

Posted by on Apr 12, 2010 in personal, scripture | 5 comments

This summer, when we go to Ethiopia, I’ve been asked to teach a 5 day course on 1 Corinthians to a group of church leaders from area where we’ll be staying (Alaba). I love the book of 1 Corinthians, and I’m looking forward to teaching this course, but preparing the teaching outline is proving to be more difficult than expected.

Now, preparing the teaching outline is not difficult because of the material, but because of the structure of the course. The course will consist of 5 morning sessions and 5 afternoon sessions, which means that I will need to teach the book in 10 sessions total. But, what happens if the outline of the book itself does not lend itself to being divided into 10 sessions?

That’s the problem that I’m facing. This means, of course, that I have to stretch some parts over multiple sessions, or combine other parts into one session. That’s not unusual when teaching in this type of structure. For example, teaching in a high school or college/university/seminary setting often requires dividing the material into a specific number of sessions.

I also have to decide which sections of the book I will give more priority and which sections will receive (by default) less priority. This would be easier if I knew more about the people that will be taking the course. I think this decision will be easier the next time I travel to this area.

Finally, I have to consider teaching/learning styles. I know what style the people are accustomed to (primarily lecture), and I know what style I’m accustomed to (primarily discussion/dialogue). I think I will have to find a happy medium, probably beginning with more lecture and moving toward more discussion/dialogue as the people get to know me.

Well, that’s part of what’s going on in my life right now. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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  1. 4-12-2010

    To generate dialogue, perhaps you could begin with the latter part of Ch. 14, encouraging the brethren to bring a psalm, tongue, doctrine, revelation, interpretation to the meetings for the edification of all – that all may learn and all may be comforted.

    Or, you could start a little earlier in the chapter and introduce yourself as a barbarian speaking an unknown tongue…

  2. 4-12-2010

    Who are your students? What are their literacy levels? Are they oral learners or preferred print learners. As you teach, you are modeling teaching as well. What will their learners look like? Oral or print?

    I would suggest you use a style that they will be able to reproduce with results to their audience (it’s easy to copy lecture, but the next audience doesn’t get it the same way, because they are oral preference learners)

    If you are outlining with an

    structure. then change it to a

    structure, so that the repetition stimulates the learning process.

    Also, reduce reduce reduce to what can be maintained. It makes no sense to teach 10 information units when only 2 or 3 can be assimilated and remembered at a time. An attempt to assimilate 10 will result in the retention of less than 1.

  3. 4-12-2010

    Eric and Stephen,

    Thanks for the suggestions!


  4. 1-10-2011


    I am a 2010 grad of SEBTS, now studying at Duke. We never met, but I had Dr. Black for NT2. How would you recommend breaking down chapter 10, assuming you had an extended period of time to teach through 1 Corinthians?

    Thanks, Jackson

  5. 1-10-2011


    Thanks for the comment. I’ll send you an email about this.