Today’s blog post is a teaching tip (like every Monday), but this one is for newer group leaders. If you are a rookie teacher, here are 5 things I’d like you to consider doing to get off to a good start as a group leader:
- Prepare a little every day. You’ve heard the expression, “It’s a cinch by the inch; it’s hard by the yard.” That principle applies to teaching, so as a rookie teacher, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your group’s Bible study. If you teach on Sunday, look ahead that afternoon to your next week’s study by briefly scanning the title, Scripture passage, and main point. Prepare a little bit each day (even 30 minutes) and you’ll find that by the end of the week, you are well-prepared to lead your group’s study.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. As a rookie teacher, take it easy on yourself as you evaluate your group experience. Things may not always go as planned, and you may question your effectiveness. We all did this at one time or another as rookie teachers. Many of us would have quit, but we gave ourselves some grace. You do the same, and hang in there.
- Continue to grow in your relationship with God. Don’t allow your study time to take the place of daily devotional time. The two are very different. One is about communication, the other is about preparation.
- Don’t feel like you have to cover everything you studied or prepared. Rookie teachers need to know “when to say when.” Your group members have no idea exactly what you have studied or prepared for the group’s Bible study – only you do. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you have to cover all the points in your Bible study – you don’t. When you sense your group has reached its limit, end the study. Save something for next time – or not. Just don’t feel like you are married to your teaching plan.
- Involve your group members. As a rookie teacher, don’t feel like you have to do all the talking. It’s best that you don’t. Please believe the admonition that, “Teaching isn’t telling; learning isn’t listening.” Avoid the pitfalls of being “that teacher” who loves to listen to his own voice. Your group members need time to talk and discuss, and to do activities related to your Bible study. Active learning is better learning, so don’t feel like you have to deliver a 45 minute lecture each week. You don’t! And your group members don’t want you to.