A Sunday school teacher or a small group leader needs to stay personally fresh and recharged spiritually in order to be most effective at teaching the class or leading the group.
Sharp, creative ideas and a soul that has been to the well of God’s Word along with time spent in prayer will come together to make an effective classroom experience.
Here are some ideas I have found that help me do these two vital things:
- Keep a file of creative ideas. Look for photos in magazines, video clips, things you can print off of the Internet and clippings from the newspaper that focus thinking on an issue, a problem or a relevant topic to the Bible study lesson text.
- Always scan your class for people who “have a story” and find ways to draw them out and share their stories in the class setting.
- Ask great questions. Avoid questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” Find ways to insert open-ended questions into the discussion which will stimulate conversation on the Bible topic or text.
- Study, study, study! Read the Sunday school lesson or the small group book chapter a couple of times during the week. Read entries from Bible dictionaries and commentaries to add to the background.
- Read materials on the context of the Bible passage to gain understanding of the customs, geography and political settings of the day in which the Bible text is set. A good resource here would be “Biblical Illustrator” – a magazine which is available from LifeWay Christian Resources at www.lifeway.com.
- Find a different way to start the class session out each week. One week use a visual illustration with objects and a key point from each one (think about the children’s sermons you have observed in church). The next week show a short video clip with a pungent point. Another week get a couple of people to act out a short skit dramatizing a dilemma or a moral quandary.
And, keep yourself spiritually fresh. Don’t just let the Sunday school or small group lesson be your only Bible study. Have a plan to read the Word daily and draw from devotional writings of others. You can’t go wrong with the book “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers or some other great devotional guide. The website www.crosswalk.com has a wealth of personal Bible study resources available online.
Read the word, pray, share Christ with people, encourage, serve, minister and love people.
It’s all a part of the mix of a great Bible teacher.