HOW DO I PREPARE MY BIBLE LESSON?
By Eric Clapper
A Step-by-step Approach to Adequate Lesson Preparation
What is your approach to a Bible lesson you must teach? “Oh, no! Not this one again! The kids all know this.” OR “This lesson, though familiar, is a terrific reminder of God’s faithfulness. I can’t wait to teach it.”
Your attitude makes a big difference as you teach. How can you become excited about the lesson? Following are seven steps to guide you. By using one step each day you can be thinking about your lesson all week long. Yes, adequate Bible lesson preparation is work but well worth it. Good planning will enable you to know where you are going and how to get there. It will give new depth to your teaching. You can count on fresh enthusiasm in your own heart and in the lives of your children.
STOP AND READ:
2 Timothy 2:15
(1) PRAY, READ, AND MEDITATE.
Pray For each student in your class. Ask God for special wisdom to communicate HIS WORD. Be able to accurately present what the Bible says. Consider these questions as you read:
a. Who is involved in the story? Identify the characters.
b. What actually takes place? Restate the general thrust of the lesson in your own words.
c. What does this lesson teach about God? The more the children learn about God, the more they will want to live for HIM.
d. What is God teaching me in this lesson? Let God speak to you first. Your personal interest in the lesson will help you make it live for those you teach.
e. What key verses can I read to the children directly from the Bible?
f. How does this lesson build on what I have previously taught? What facts must be reviewed to bring the whole class up to date?
(2) GET THE STORY STRAIGHT. Make a list of events.
1. Naboth had a vineyard close to King Ahab’s palace in Samaria.
2. King asks Naboth for his vineyard.
3. King offers money or a better vineyard.
4. Naboth refuses.
5. King Ahab goes home and pouts.
6. Queen Jezebel asks him why he is sad.
7. King tells her the story.
8. Queen promises to set vineyard for him because he is king.
9. Queen writes letters against Naboth and seals them with the king’s seal.
10. Naboth is set up in the city and accused by two men or blaspheming God and king.
11. Naboth carried outside the city and stoned to death.
12. Jezebel receives word that Naboth is dead.
13. Jezebel tells kins to 50 and possess the vineyard.
14. God speaks to Elijah and tells him to go and meet Naboth in vineyard.
15. God tells Elijah of the terrible death the kins will suffer.
16. King is caught and punishment is forth coming.
If necessary, your brief outline may be written on small pieces of paper and tucked inside your Bible as you teach. Remember, you must be very familiar with the story itself to do a good job of telling it. A good story poses a problem that is finally resolved. State the problem early in your lesson but don’t give away the solution before the end. Build toward that solution and maintain interest.
(3) PLAN TO REACH THE UNSAVED CHILD.
Unsaved children need to near the message of salvation and given an opportunity to do something about it.
Where in the lesson can you talk about who God is? Where in the lesson can you show the child his need of the Holy Ghost? Where can you talk about repenting, being baptized in Jesus name, and receiving the Holy Spirit?
Verse 4 is an easy place to talk about sin. In verse 13 Naboth is a picture of the Lord Jesus because he is put to death for something he did not do.
(4) PLAN TO TEACH THE SAVED CHILD. (Very Important!)
The saved child needs to be challenged to live for God. Children must both know and do that is right. You will observe that the needs of your students are frequently revealed by their conduct. What does the lesson Scripture say that will help your children? A KEY TO REMEMBER: it is better to clearly communicate one point than to have several points–all forgotten!!
Stop and think: What could you teach the saved children from I kings 21:1-20. You could choose “being content with whatever God has given you.” There is no right or wrong answer. Teach according to the needs of your students.
(5) CAPTURE THE EMOTIONS OF THE STORY AND PLAN FOR STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
Now that you have taught through the content of your lesson, think about how you will say what must be said. Be a skillful storyteller! Regardless of how much anointing you have, if you have not studied
and prepared, your lesson will not be successful!
Plan your introduction carefully. Never begin, “Today I want to tell you a story about….” There is no life in that. Here are several ways to begin:
Ask a question: “Would you like to receive a visit from a real king?”
Use a brief illustration- “If you were a king, think about how many wonderful things you could own.”
Build intrigue: “Near the palace of the great King Ahab was something he wanted very much. But he couldn’t have it” It belonged to someone else!”
Just begin: Large delicious grapes hung from the vine of Naboth’s vineyard.
Be careful not to give away the climax of your story in your introduction. You would not want to start by saying, “Listen carefully to this story and see how wicked King Ahab sets the vineyard of Naboth.” Too much of the plot is exposed in your first line.
Stop and Practice: “I have some news for you.” Say this sentence four times: first as though you’re happy; then sad; then bored; then excited. Say the sentence several more times and emphasize a different word each time. How does this also change its meaning?
You talk faster when you are happy and excited. Your speech is slower and softer when you’re sad and discouraged.
Be sure to carefully plan your conclusion so the story does not ramble on and on.
How will you involve your students as you present the lesson? Will you ask them specific questions? What verses will you have your students find in the Bible? Are there good place for group discussion? Is there
any situation they could act out? Is there a way to involve more of their senses than just hearing and seeing?
(6) WORK WITH YOUR VISUALS IN ADVANCE.
Prepared visual aids will enhance attention, understanding and retention of truth. Vary from week to week the types of visuals you use–flannelgraph, flashcards, objects, puppets, etc. You can create your own visuals if you have none available to you. Try these two methods:
1. Use simple sketches.
2. Use faces to portray emotions.
(7) PRACTICE YOUR LESSON OUT LOUD, AT LEAST TWICE, THEN TRUST THE
RESULTS TO GOD.
Practice from your opening sentence right through the invitation to receive the Spirit. Time yourself. This will help you plan your total teaching time.
An effective lesson can be taught in a 15 to 20-minute time slot, Pretend you are actually there as you tell the story. Remember, this is a real event you are reporting.
Here are several important thoughts to consider:
Use the Bible verse several times in the lesson. Be sure you learn it yourself. Apply it to the children’s lives.
Do not memorize your lesson. The Holy Spirit may need to change your thought pattern to meet a particular need. Teach from the Bible, not a prepared script. Refer to the Bible often by saying “The Bible
Use Bible language. Watch slags words. Avoid repeated words and phrases such as “and, ah…,” “boys and girls,” “you Know….,” etc. Have someone listen to your presentation and point these out to you.
As you pray, ask God to prepare the heart of each student to receive the truths you are presenting.
Do you see why it is IMPOSSIBLE to begin your preparation the night before you present your lesson and do a thorough job? Build from week to week so your students go away from your class knowing much more
than just a lot of stories.
It can be said of you, “We were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God” (I Thessalonians 2:2).
HOW DO I PREPARE MY BIBLE LESSON?
Pretend II Kings 5:1-14 is your lesson text. Read it carefully a few times, then take this test:
1. Make a brief list of story events for this Scripture portion.
2. What could you use as an introductory sentence? ___________________
3. What emotion is portrayed in each of these verses? _______________
vs. 3______________________________ vs. 7__________________________
vs. 11, 12_________________________ vs. 14__________________________
4. List verses that will help you present the message of salvation and
what truth you can teach from that verse.
5. What main truth can you teach the Christian child from this lesson?
6. How can you involve the students as you teach this lesson
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