Preparation makes a difference. That’s a fact.
Robert Pazmino, a well-known Christian educator, related a story about his son to a group of students Pazmino was teaching one semester. Pazmino’s son, an aspiring chef, wanted to prepare a dish of brussel sprouts for a family holiday meal. Pazmino was skeptical – he’d tasted brussel sprouts before, and they were bitter. His son assured him the family would love his Brussel sprouts, though. The son invited his father to participate in the preparation of the dish. Pazmino was given a melon scoop and carefully removed the core of the Brussel sprouts (the most bitter part) and then wrapped the vegetables in bacon. Pazmino later admitted that the side dish tasted wonderful, and that he’d learned a lesson in the kitchen that spilled over and into the world of Christian education: preparation makes all the difference.
With that in mind, here are 3 quick tips for better lesson preparation:
- Start early – Most of us teach a Bible study group on Sunday. Begin your preparation for next weekend’s Bible study on Sunday afternoon by (1) evaluating your experience from Sunday morning – what worked? what didn’t? (2) looking ahead to next week’s lesson (examine the core passage, lesson title, background passages, etc.) – get a feel for where the lesson is going.
- Study daily – If you commit to study about 20-30 minutes a day, you can create a great lesson each week. The thing that hurts many teachers? Last-minute cramming on Saturday. It’s a fact that my company’s website spikes every Saturday night after 6PM, and again on Sunday morning before church! There are a lot of teachers who are doing last-minute preparation and expecting to deliver quality Bible studies – and it just won’t happen.
- Sleep deeply – Get to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night. Late-night outtings or irregular sleep patterns will ultimately hurt you in the classroom. Be sure to go to bed on time and get a full 8 hours of sleep. You’ll be more refreshed than if you don’t get a good amount of sleep, and the extra rest will make you more mentally and physically sharp. You’ll be a better group leader because of it.