What an incredible privilege and responsibility to teach the life-changing truths of Scripture. To offer the best we have as a teacher and avoid the temptation to simply regurgitate (read) curriculum, let’s consider these six important questions we need to answer when preparing to teach:
1) What is the BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE? (Keyword: Preparation)
Everything we teach should bring students back to the Bible. Our stories, opinions, and advice do not have the power to change a student’s life. The Word of God does. (2 Timothy 3:16) That is why we believe the Bible is a BIG DEAL and why we want to graduate students who have biblical principles engrained in their minds and hearts. As you prepare, identify and focus on the biblical principle.
2) What is the TAKEAWAY? (Keyword: Clarification)
It’s important to begin with the end in mind. Once you identify the biblical principle we are trying to communicate, clarify the exact main point we want students to grasp as a result of our time together. With every lesson I teach, I clarify the “140,” that is the point of my lesson in 140 characters or less. Remember, your “takeaway” is not just taught through the lesson, but through the entire small group experience.
3) Why is this IMPORTANT? (Keyword: Persuasion)
Identify the significance of your takeaway. This not only creates a sense of urgency in your approach to lesson prep, but also clarifies how you persuade students of its importance. The WHY always drives the passion and urgency of the WHAT.
4) How do I make this REAL to a child / student? (Keyword: Illustration)
The ability to effectively illustrate a biblical truth in a way that makes it “real” to a student is what moves teachers from being good to GREAT! Object lessons, stories, and illustrations that connect a biblical truth to their world are invaluable to helping students understand and remember truth.
5) What does this mean to ME? (Keyword: Application)
Once you communicate biblical truth in a way that students will understand, the goal is to help them apply this truth to their lives personally. Application of biblical truth is the primary end goal of our teaching. As a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your investment pay off when a student applies truth in their life.
6) What NOW? (Keyword: Demonstration)
Let’s not make the mistake of helping students realize where they need to go, but not showing them how to get there. A great lesson ends with practical and specific actions steps that answer the question “What now?” Students should leave small group with a clear understanding of next steps.
Let’s never forget…we are not called to teach lessons, we are called to teach people. Let’s give our best as we prepare to teach God’s life-changing truth!
We are not called to teach lessons; we are called to teach people.
Let’s give our best as we prepare to teach God’s life-changing truth!
See what I did there?