I have seen some good “Saturday night” specials (lessons) and I have seen some flat ones. Sadly, most lacked intentionality and Holy Spirit inspiration. In order to give God and His people our best effort, we need to establish lesson preparation discipline.
Life is busy. In my experience, life has a way of filling up all our allotted time plus some. What do I mean? If you do not establish a consistent routine for lesson preparation, you will find many great things to do besides preparing for a great Sunday School experience. This means in most cases that we will wait until the pressure is the greatest: Saturday night.
I recommend spending at least 30 minutes every day preparing. The first thing that needs preparing is your own heart. I call this the first encounter. You need to meet God in Bible study and be changed from that time with Him. You need to respond in commitment and obedience as a result. Out of that encounter, you can then prepare a plan for your class similarly to open God’s Word and meet Him. That is the second encounter for you (ideally for them as well if they sought him during the week).
My 30 minutes daily on Sunday through Wednesday is often focused on God and on me as I listen and respond to him in Bible study and prayer. I read the word many times each day. I ask Him questions and write down questions. And I look for life illustrations He often provides.
Then Thursday through Saturday, I begin to consider the message for life today and for the learners in my group. I begin to look at commentaries to broaden my understanding of the biblical context, words, and customs. I start building a written plan for leading my class to encounter God in Bible study. Saturday may be longer as I finish and review my plan for the next day.
What is your preparation routine? What have you done to develop lesson preparation discipline? When do you start? What time of day works best for you? What tools do you use? What do you do when you have interruptions into your preparation plans? Make disciples. Be revolutionary!