Tom Landry, my favorite NFL coach of all-time, once said, “The will to practice must be greater than the will to win.” Leaders in the world of Sunday School and small groups have recognized something similar – if you commit to prepare well, you’ll experience success in the classroom and you’ll be known as a great Bible study leader. Preparation is key.
Your success as a Bible study leader is largely determined by how much preparation you are willing to make prior to your teaching assignment. It’s also about the quality of that preparation. So with that in mind, here is a simple schedule that will help you lead great Bible studies consistently (this schedule assumes you are teaching a group on Sundays. If you teach on another day of the week, simply modify the schedule below. Any by the way, this only takes 20-30 minutes a day!
- Read next week’s Bible study passage at least twice
- Pray for God to speak to you through His Word, your prayers, and circumstances
- Pray for insight and wisdom into your group members and the way the Scripture may intersect their lives
- Read the lesson passage again, but this time in different translations (NASB, KJV, HCSB, NIV, ESV). Note how words are sometimes translated differently, and see if this helps you sharpen your understanding of the original text.
- Jot down any themes you see in the passage
- Continue praying for wisdom and insight
- Read the lesson passage again, but this time from the version of Scripture you will use with your group
- Identify key words and concepts, Bible characters, and places mentioned in the passage
- Consult commentaries, your curriculum’s Leader Guide, a Bible atlas, a Bible dictionary, or other resources to better understand the things you have questions about
- Read the lesson passage again, asking these application questions of the text:
- Is there an attitude to adjust?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a priority to change?
- Is there a lesson to learn?
- Is there an issue to resolve?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there an activity to stop or start?
- Is there a truth to believe?
- Is there a sin to confess?
- Is there an example to follow?
- Read the lesson passage again
- Review your curriculum’s Leader Guide and the teaching plan outline and suggestions for group activities
- Think about using a teaching method(s) you haven’t used recently to meet the needs of the different types of learners in your group
- Finalize your teaching outline
- Gather needed supplies
- Review your teaching plan a final time
- Get to bed on time that night!
- Get up on time
- Get to church early (remember, early is on time….on time is late)
- Set up your classroom
- Start on time
- End on time