Every good story, movie, documentary or even commercial all use tension to captivate the audience. Can you imagine watching a movie that has no tension to be resolved? These mediums use tension because everyone loves to see problems resolved. Create enough tension and you can keep audiences glued to their seats for hours. Incorporate too little tension and you could lose them in the first thirty seconds.
Every passage in the Bible is there to resolve some spiritual tension in our lives, but if people do not see the tension or do not see how it relates to them, they will disengage. The challenge for the teacher is to effectively raise tension, so that people will be sitting on the edges of the seats, desperately wanting to hear how to resolve that tension in their minds or lives.
This is challenging to do especially when using curriculum written by another person. Take time to go through your notes to understand how each truth ultimately answers a tension in their lives. What is that tension and how do we get people to emotionally relate to it? Despite the fact that they may “know” the truth you will be discussing, there is always some way they are not applying that truth. As a result they are missing something in their relationship with God or how they represent him in this world.
Raise tension effectively and your students will always be engaged. Your challenge will be knowing how to control the lively interaction. When a study falls quiet and you are struggling to evoke conversation, that is most likely an indication that they do not see a relevant tension that needs to be resolved.