The Benefits of Taking a Breath When You TeachHave you been in this situation?
Your Bible lesson is going well, you're motoring. People are asking questions, and you have a wonderful answer for each one. Rapid response -- you're just opening your mouth and the answers are coming out. You're so hot that you're ready to answer their question before they finish it!
Whoa. That's too hot. Never answer a question before they finish speaking. That's a rotten habit that plagues many of us, and is a horrible pitfall of troubles.
Let me explain a few reasons why:
If you're ready to answer before they finish speaking, it can only mean that a big part of your brain was tied up in formulating the answer while they were still speaking. In other words, you weren't listening with your full attention.
If you're poised to fire back your answer two microseconds after they finish, you might start talking when they're just taking a breath, rather than when they actually finished.
If you're lips are acting like a dam holding back a flood of words, then you're too tense. Your body language will communicate this tension.
Many of the people reading this article are Americans. We're living in a culture that actually rewards faster-than- fast responses. But I believe it's detrimental to the good dialogue over God's Word that can truly help people grow in Christ.
Here's a teaching tip that I'm practicing to help me with this: When the questioner is done, take in a breath, and release it before beginning the response.
Breathe! Take a full breath, and let it out. Then answer.
Wonderful things can come from this pause. You'll probably recognize times (more than you'd like to admit) that your immediate answer isn't the best answer, or is the answer to a question you *thought* the person asked, rather than the one they did ask.
I've found that the Holy Spirit uses this pause to correct me or redirect me. Just recently I was about to answer with some information that was truthful, and correct, but not appropriate. I obeyed the "check" in my spirit, and responded to what I later realized was the true question behind their spoken question.
In practical terms, the pause also pulls in the attention from the whole room, and gives your response greater weight. Thoughtful responses after a pause are weightier than quick comebacks, even in American culture.
So give this "take a breath before answering" tip a try. I think you'll be surprised at how much this can improve the dialogue in your class or study.
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About The Author: Glenn Brooke coaches thousands of Bible teachers to be more effective. Learn the PROVEN ways to teach so that people respond! Get FREE Teachers Package of Helps ==> http://www.teachtochangelives.com/gift