Object lessons always go over well with young people. The visual contact creates a lasting image of your point in the student’s mind. While trying to teach a group of Junior High students a lesson in removing preconceived notions before learning can occur, I tried an object lesson. I dressed as an elderly lady in her eighties, even though I was about 35 at the time. I wore a gray wig, applied heavy make-up, thick glasses, and donned a baggy out of style dress. My stockings even bagged at the ankles; I went all out. Not recognizing me as I entered the room, small muffled snickers began to break out. I shuffled papers as if confused, even pretended to have difficulty walking and moving. By the time I reached the podium, they were already convinced I couldn’t teach them anything. Why? Their perception was that only someone as young and “hip” as they were could be competent. As I expected and before I could begin to speak, a young man in the back made a wise crack about the “old lady” and the rest followed suit with several chuckles. I pretended to be upset by it and left the room. While out in the hall, I removed the wig, glasses, etc., and returned to the classroom as the teacher the students already knew. A worried hush fell on the room and the young man immediately began his excuses as to why he had not intended to offend the “other” teacher. One of the more observant girls of course recognized me and shot the young man a look that silenced him. When they all realized I was now that same person, they were embarrassed and apologetic. My first questions to them were, “Why is it necessary for you to feel remorse now? How is the person you see now any different than the one who stood here five minutes ago?” The answers were obvious to the students.
The Bible encourages us to come to Jesus as little children because children have not yet become sullied by preconceived barriers. Most children are eager to learn and curious about everything. Pray with your students that they will come to Sunday School eager to learn something and free of barriers to learning.