Five Things With a Veteran Pastor
This month we continue our series of articles entitled “Five Things.” Each month, we interview a practitioner of Christian adult education to learn about their educational philosophy, books they’ve read, advice they’d give to other educators, and their perspectives on teaching the Word. This month features Pastor Daniel Habben, who serves Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Pastor Daniel Habben is starting his second year of serving God’s people in Flagstaff, Arizona. Prior to that, he served congregations in western Canada and Antigua. Dan has had a special interest in education ever since he served as a dorm supervisor/instructor at Luther Preparatory School. He counts the opportunity to present “St. Augustine Taught the Catechumens and So Do We” at the 2015 WLS Symposium as one “education” highlight of his ministry. Dan and his wife, Sarah, have four girls.

They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:42
Adult Education: Additum
Moving Beyond Trivial Pursuit

Pastor Habben reminded us that our goal is not to make students into spiritual smarty-pants who can answer all the questions in Bible Trivial Pursuit. Rather, we want to help them put into practice the things we learn from God’s Word. How do we do that? For one thing, we can establish learning objectives when we design our lessons, goals that include not only know objectives, but also feel and carry out objectives. 

Once we have intentional learning objectives, we can further design learning activities to achieve those objectives. The 4Cs of education (have them create something, communicate something, collaborate on something, critically think about something) are as valid in the adult classroom as they are in the middle school classroom. 

For more specific ideas to incorporate active learning into your adult class, check out this link.
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Teaching Toolbox
Andragogy Quick Sheet

Want a quick summary of three important things to remember for teaching adults? Check out this infographic template, downloaded from Not only is it informative, content-wise, but this infographic also is a great example of how to incorporate graphics in a smart, aesthetically pleasing fashion. There are many other templates like this one available through Canva. 

Curriculum Connection

Together with his wife Sarah, Pastor Habben authored The Bloodstained Path to God: Experiencing Worship With Old Testament Believers, a book in the popular Bible Discovery Series.

To complement this book, he later wrote a Bible study, The Bloodstained Path to God: Sacred Silhouettes, which focuses on the laws, traditions, and festivals of Old Testament Israel, allowing participants to see beautiful pictures of the coming Savior.

Teaching Tip
Ask Them Before They Ask You

One way to incorporate more relevant communicate activities into your lessons is to anticipate the hard questions that might come out of the passages or the topic you’re studying during your lesson prep. Ask your adult learners to share their thoughts on how to answer those hard questions as a specific communicate learning activity. This technique turns an “I talk, you listen” into a collaboration where “they talk, you listen/comment/ correct/synthesize.” It takes the pressure off of you as the sage on the stage while also honoring the experience and thoughts of your adult learners. 
 Teach the Word is a collaboration of Northwestern Publishing House,
Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and WELS Discipleship.