In order to teach in an experiential way, you must convert every point in the lesson from doctrine into experience. Suppose a particular lesson has five points. In your preparation, you should try to convert every point of doctrine into experience. This requires practice. After making such a conversion during your time of preparation, you should then speak to the young people about each point in the way of experience. The more you speak in this way, the more they will be unveiled. They will see a vision that will expose them, and spontaneously they will be ushered into the experience of the very matter you have been presenting.
However, if you teach in the way of merely imparting doctrines from the printed materials, you will do nothing more than impart some knowledge to the minds of your students. As a result, they will gain nothing in an experiential way. Moreover, the knowledge they gain may damage them. Later, on another occasion, when they hear a word about transformation, they might say, “I know this already. I heard all about it in the Summer School of Truth. I know that transformation is the result of sanctification and is related to man’s soul. I also know that transformation means that a certain substance changes in nature and in form.” We must not damage the young people by giving them mere knowledge. In order to profit them with the truth, we must always teach them in an experiential way. This is a very basic matter.
We should also speak in an experiential way in the church life. In the meetings, in fellowship, in shepherding the saints, and in visiting others for gospel preaching, we need to learn to speak not in a doctrinal way but in an experiential way. By speaking in this way, we will “hit two birds with one stone”—the “bird” of experience and the “bird” of doctrine. Then the one to whom you are speaking will get the doctrine along with the experience. I hope that you all will endeavor to practice this from now on.
In the ministry in the Lord’s recovery, we present our teachings not in the way of doctrine but in the way of life. For this reason our study of the Bible is called a life-study. However, although we do not stress doctrine, our way of teaching conveys a great deal of doctrine. Every message of our life-study of the Scriptures conveys a certain amount of doctrine, yet the impression made upon the reader is not the impression of doctrine but the impression of the experience and enjoyment of God, Christ, and the Spirit. Eventually one does learn some doctrine, but it is experiential doctrine, doctrine that is learned through experience.
I believe that teaching in the Summer School of Truth will be a good opportunity for you to learn something. If you try to convert every point in the lessons into experience, you yourself will be helped. You may realize that you do not know how to convert doctrine into experience, because you are lacking in experience. This will expose you, and then you will know where you are. You will see that you may know many things as doctrines, but you do not know them in experience. Then as you are preparing a lesson, you may begin to check yourself regarding your experience. Point by point you may ask yourself, “Do I have the experience of this matter? Is my experience of this point adequate? Am I able to teach others about this point in an experiential way?” You may conclude that your experience is not even adequate for a testimony, much less for teaching a class of young people. This may cause you to pray, “Lord, have mercy upon me. I need some experience of this matter.” This is the way to prepare yourself to teach every lesson.
I would encourage you to prepare not only by yourself but with others who will be teaching the young people. Come together with several others and check every point of every lesson according to experience. In addition, practice converting the doctrinal points into experience. This will be a good preparation for teaching in an experiential way. If you do this, the summer school will be a great benefit not only to the young people but to the entire church. Let us take this way to teach the young people in the Summer School of Truth.
(Teachers' Training, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)