Many years ago, I read that I should write a case study for every lesson. What a great idea. Writing a case study helped me focus on at least one way the lesson would be relevant in the learners’ lives, even if I didn’t use it in my teaching plan.
What is a case study? It is a life situation that requires analysis or presents a problem for which learners are to propose solutions. It presents a specific life situation to which learners will apply biblical truth.
How do you write a good case study?
- Effective case studies present situations and problems similar to those faced by the learners. However, to avoid embarrassment, do not use actual situations involving the learners.
- Good case studies have relevant, interesting story lines. Stories with an obvious moral ending, a trite plot, or unbelievable characters will not stimulate interest.
- Effective case studies are relevant to the Bible text being studied. Help learners see how the specific Bible passage being studied that day applies to a specific life situation.
- Good case studies end with good questions. Ask what they think they should or would do in the situation based on Scripture or what advice they might give in the situation based Scripture. The discussion following the case study is when transformational learning occurs.
Where do I find ideas for good case studies?
- Look for case studies in everyday life: the media and your own life experiences. Help learners apply biblical truth to current events.
- Look for case studies in your reading. Sometimes a classic story will hit home.
How do you use case
- Use an opening case study to create interest in the lesson.
- Use a case study to help members better understand the meaning a Bible text.
- Use one or more case studies to help members apply biblical truth to their lives.
Allow adequate time for case studies. For full effect, the case study must be followed by discussion. You want to involve learners in the process of analyzing the situation and applying biblical truth. If the case study is relevant and deals with difficult issues,
it will take time for learners to process the answers. The time is worth it. God can use this to bring significant transformation in you and your learner’s lives.
Bob Wood is the Church Growth Ministries Team Leader, Baptist State Convention of Michigan.