Monthly Archives: June 2012

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4MAT Learning Styles of Biblical Characters (BIBLICAL CASE STUDY)


Teens, Adults


45 minutes

A Biblical Case Study is an exercise that uses Scripture to practice the use of modern business and leadership tools.  In this case study, participants will try to determine where Biblical characters fit in Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT Learning Styles.



Nehemiah, chapters 1-4



  • Flipchart paper and markers for each table group (1 page each).
  • Masking tape (if you want to hang the flipcharts on the wall)
  • Sticky notes (one pad per table)
  • Marker (one per table)
  • Bible for each table group


o  Teach about Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT Learning Styles.



Use the following process (or modify to suit your needs):

o  After teaching about the four quadrants, ask participants to draw the model on their own flip chart.

o  Allow them to customize it with language or symbols that are meaningful to them as long as they don’t lose the essence of what the quadrants represent.

o  Give them a list of Biblical characters.  (My recommendations are Noah, Job, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, King Saul, Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Esther, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John the Beloved, Andrew, Paul, Timothy – but feel free to use others if you like.)

o  Have each group work as a team to put the names of each of these characters on an individual sticky note and place it in the quadrant on the chart that they think best represents the character’s learning style.

o  When they are all done, pick one character and discuss as a group.

o   Why do they think he/she fits in that quadrant?

o   What do other teams think?

o  Try to reach consensus among the teams, and keep your ears open for misunderstandings about the model. If you hear some incorrect understandings, correct those with the entire class.

o  Do a few characters like this until you are comfortable that they understand the model well.

o  Then, step out of the discussion, and let them debate among themselves. If they can’t reach a consensus, step back in to guide the decision making with some reminders about the model.


I’m including some recommended quadrants for each of the characters I mentioned above, but these are subjective and you could make strong arguments in some cases for placing them in other quadrants. “Correct answers” are not the most important outcome of this activity. What’s much more important is the process of participants wrestling with the model to find a place for the Biblical characters. In the end, they should have a much stronger understanding of the model even if their answers are “wrong.


Recommended Quadrants

Q1 – Imaginative Learner

·      Abraham

·      Samuel

·      Jonah


Q2 – Analytical Learner

·      Noah

·      Job

·      Jeremiah

·      Daniel

·      Esther

·      Andrew

·      James

·      Timothy

Q3 – Common Sense Learner

·      Sarah

·      Jacob

·      Paul


Q4 – Dynamic Learner

·      Moses

·      King Saul

·      David

·      Isaiah

·      Nebuchadnezzar

·      John the Baptist

·      Peter

·      John the Beloved


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Filed under Biblical Case Study, Facilitation, learning, Personality, Teaching, Training

Asleep in the Garden (GAME)


10-15 minutes

This game is high energy with a spiritual teaching point about doing the things God wants us to do.  You can use it when teaching about Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.



  • Mark 14:32-42



  • None



  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Practice the script.



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Asleep in the Garden.’”
  • “It’s about the night that Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified.”  (Ask volunteer to read Mark 14:32-42.)
  • “Jesus had asked Peter, James and John to stay awake and pray, but they kept falling asleep.”
  • “This was a pretty important time for them to join Jesus in prayer, but they were very tired.”
  • “Even though they wanted to stay awake, they couldn’t seem to do it.”
  • “So, here’s how the game is played.”
  • “I’ll play Jesus for the first round, and I’ll stand over here and turn my back toward you so that I can’t see you.”  (Pick a spot at the front of the room.)
  • “Everyone should lay down on the floor like you are asleep.”
  • “Everyone can stand up one time before I turn around, but you can only stay standing for three seconds – ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then you have to lay down again and ‘go to sleep’ until after I’ve turned around.”
  • “If I turn around while you are standing, you win and get to be ‘Jesus’ for the next round.”
  • “But if no one is standing when I turn around, I’ll say, ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,’ and we’ll start over.”
  • “Also, if more than one person is standing when I turn around, keep counting, ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then lay down.  The last person standing wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Play several rounds, allowing different people to come up and be ‘Jesus.’  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)


Debrief Questions

  1. “What did you think of the game?”
  2. “Why do you think it was so important to Jesus that Peter, James and John pray with Him?”
  3. “Why do you think it was so difficult for them?”
  4. “Have you ever found it difficult to do something God wanted you to do?  What was it and why?”
  5. “How can we do a better job at doing the things God wants us to do?”

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Filed under Discipline, Game, James, Jesus, John the Beloved, Obedience, Peter