Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Extra Helps #14 - Choosing A Lesson
Deciding what to teach students from week to week may be a problem for some Bible teachers. Some may open the Bible, which is a very good start, but may choose their lesson at the place where the Bible falls open. Each week's lesson is not a 'planned' lesson, but a completely 'random' one.
Some may select a lesson by what suits the Bible teacher on a particular day; for example, if it is a rainy day, the Bible teacher may decide to teach "Noah and the Ark", yet the previous lesson might have been "Jesus Is Baptized By John." Is this the best way to select a Bible lesson?
Does it matter which lesson is taught? Must there be an order in which to teach? Like many things in the world, there is a good way and a better way. If we were reading a children's book, a recipe, an instruction book, would we not decide to read in some consistent order? While it is commendable that the Bible teacher is opening up the Bible to teach, there is still a better way to choose a lesson or a series of lessons.
Some congregations are blessed with strong and knowledgeable leadership, men or possibly elders who decide what Bible material should be taught (Acts 20:28), but you may find yourself in a position at some point in your life where you are the one who is choosing lesson material, and it is beneficial to be prepared.
Keeping lessons in a relative order helps the student with the complete story of the Bible, one that makes sense and is understandable, learning that there is a sequence of events. Select a section, perhaps ten to twelve lessons at a time, so that the Bible is broken up into topics and the students may digest a portion at a time, yet keeping the whole story intact. For example, the simple act of choosing either the Old or New Testament from which to study is a great beginning. Then, choosing either a Bible book (Genesis, Ruth, Daniel), or topics such as "Heroes of the Old Testament," "The Whole Armor of God," or "Parables of Christ" will give a little continuity to the lessons.
Some Bible teachers choose to teach the Old Testament stories on Sunday mornings and the New Testament lessons during their mid-week Bible class. This is a good, consistent method and it gives the student a good overall picture of the Bible.
So, put thought and prayer into how you choose your Bible lessons and may we always strive for the 'better' way!