It’s pretty easy to sucked into the details of planning Bible lessons. There are so many options and rarely enough time to get it all in!
There are two *Critical* things to work out for every Bible lesson you create or lead:
1. Know the objectives 2. Plan Questions and Interaction
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
The first critical step before you get very far in planning lessons:
1. You must know the objectives for each class.
What do you want to happen? What should your students learn about? What should everyone experience? What are the key take-aways that lead to life change?
Give these questions some consideration.
Then WRITE IT DOWN.
I’m serious, write it out. Don’t just mutter, “I know what I want.” I encourage you to actually, physically get this written down on paper.
Why? Two reasons:
A. The act of writing reinforces what’s important. Sometimes what we have in our heads looks goofy on paper and that’s a sign that you need to think more about what needs to happen.
B. You can make sure there is enough detail to guide your lesson planning. Often we make assumptions about stuff until it’s written down and staring back at us.
Now take your written objectives and lay them out before the Lord. Do what Hezekiah did in 2 Kings 19:14 physically lay it before the Lord and ask for His guidance.
Pray confidently that the Lord will confirm, re-direct, and shape these objectives for your class at this time.
If you don’t know your objectives, any approach will get you the results you deserve.
Life-changing Bible lessons take thinking and planning and work!
Once you know the objectives that God has confirmed for this class, then you can really work at shaping the lesson to meet those objectives.
That’s where the second critical step comes in:
2. Plan Questions and Interaction
Most Bible teachers get so focused on the content (the Bible passage, the application) that they miss the tools to help people grab hold of it!
If you want people to learn, you have to do more than just lecture at them. They will learn 10 times or 100 times more — the kind of learning that leads to transformed minds and hearts — if they interact with you as the teacher, and with the material.
This is really a simple fact about how our minds work. The Lord designed our minds. If anyone would know who to teach so that people could learn and understand, it would be Jesus, right? So let’s pay attention to how he teaches.
In the Gospels you’ll see that Jesus uses many questions to help people understand what he wants them to know. He gets into conversations with them, speaking back and forth. He’s not asking questions because He wants to know something. He’s God, so He already knows! No, Jesus asks questions because it’s one of the best ways to get someone engaged!
So questions should be one of your principal means for interactive learning.
Here is how to figure out what questions to use:
Look over your material, and pick out three to five points that you want people to understand. For each one, think of at least two questions about the topic or verse or word that you want them to focus on.
Use a mix of questions that have a definite, correct answer, and questions which are more open ended. For example, “How many sons did Noah have?” has a definite, correct answer: three. “What would you have felt if you were Shem and had been working on building the ark for 5 years?” is a question that invites reflection, personalization, exploring the story — there is not a single correct answer.
This strategy should give you 6-10 questions that will really help with interactivity while you teach.
Make sure your questions are in line with the objectives you outlined above. Then the questions lead people to where you want them to go!
If you know your objectives, and plan for interaction, the effectiveness of your Bible teaching will zoom!