The Sweet Spot of Preaching and Teaching

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If you remember back to Psychology 101 there was a term called the “Zone of Proximal Development” that boils down to an ideal zone of learning. If you try to teach someone by telling them things they already know they won’t get much from it. If you go way over their head and teach things they aren’t ready for you will lose them. But there is a zone right in the middle that is just beyond their current knowledge and ability that they can stretch to. That is the “sweet spot” of preaching and teaching. Aim too low and you miss. Aim too high and you miss.

A steady diet at either end of the spectrum can result in problems. Going too shallow can result in perpetual baby Christians whose roots aren’t as deep as they should be. Going too deep leaves people lost, confused and then board. Either way people will bail on you. If I am not careful I often assume people know more than they do and put parts of the lesson just out of reach of some in the room. That is something I am working on. Craig Groeschel posted two excellent articles on going too deep or too shallow. Worth the read…

Too Deep

Too Shallow

Do you struggle with either of these? What has been  helpful to you in finding balance?

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