5 tips for creating memorable adult formation programs

5 tips for memorable adult formationHolly Inglis writes: "My doctoral project focused on making worship more memorable and sermons more ‘sticky.’  In my research I discovered that in order for sermons and worship to stick with people through the week and become transformative to their faith, several things needed to happen.  I wish everyone knew how to make spiritual formation experiences more memorable and transformative.  Here are my Five Tips for Creating Memorable Learning in the Church.”

1. Stimulate more senses; Vision trumps all senses – the more we can engage more of the senses the more memorable and richer the experience for our brains (and I would add for our souls).  This may be why labyrinths are so powerful for some people as they engage our physical senses along with our spiritual senses. 

2. Engage new information with prior knowledge – find out what adults already know about prayer or reading scripture or any other aspect of faith formation before introducing new information and connect the two 

3. Create an emotional connection; Emotional memory trumps all other forms of memory – emotional connections answer the all-important question, “Why is this important?” Stories are a primary way of eliciting an emotional connection, either through the leader telling a story or inviting participants to share a story related to the topic under consideration 

4. Find your core message and repeat it with increasing depth; Develop the 7 word visual proverb – more people are tweeting their lives in 140 characters, so getting to the heart of what we are trying to teach and communicate is a good discipline and keeps us from diluting the important stuff – it also makes it easier to apply to life as well as remember 

5. Demonstrate relevance and create interest – nobody likes boring so leaders and spiritual companions need to establish the relevance of a topic or discussion up front to avoid participants having to search for the relevance on their own

You can find our complete interview with Dr. Inglis here.