Every week is busy. We are pulled in many directions. Distractions are around every corner. But a lesson must be prepared for Sunday. Without intentional effort, will it be another Saturday night special (lesson preparation that starts late in the week)? What do you do to ensure that you get your lesson prepared early?
Why Start Early?
In my book, Disciple-Making Encounters, one major reason to start early is to meet God in Bible study and adjust your life to Him. Then from the overflow of that encounter, you understand the lesson’s importance, truth, and author (God). That changes the lesson you prepare in so many ways. You will be able to prepare a lesson that enables your group to do the same: meet God in Bible study.
But we must be careful not to rush from reading the scripture and leader guide to lesson preparation without pausing to meet God in Bible study. The pressure comes from lesson preparation, but meeting God is so much more important. The people you teach will be able to tell the difference.
Getting the Lesson Prepared Early
In chapter 5 of my book, I encourage five major elements which benefit from early preparation:
- plan to use the Bible (teach participants how to meet God in Bible study; not long ago, I sat through a lesson where the Bible was never opened nor read)
- use a balanced and inclusive study plan (the use of curriculum helps teachers give a balanced treatment of Old and New Testament books and types of Bible literature; without curriculum, teachers will need to be intentional)
- pace preparation (begin on Sunday, meet God first, prepare a little every day)
- target your lessons (think about the people in your group and their needs when you prepare, focus on one or two)
- narrow the lesson’s focus (avoid trying to cover too much too fast; the goal is life-change through meeting God in Bible study, application, and obedience).
As number 3 suggests, beginning early is key. Choose a time each day when you can spend 30+ minutes. That could at breakfast or lunch, during breaks, after dinner. Place the time on your schedule. Set an alarm. Seek to make it a meeting with God that you look forward to EVERY time the alarm sounds. If you think of the alarm as an interruption, you will simply turn it off and miss your time with God and time of lesson preparation.
What other keys would you share that could help others in the struggle for a lesson prepared early? What have you learned that has helped you? Leave a comment below. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!