Prepare to teach your group in just 30 minutes a day

Tom Landry, my favorite NFL coach, once said, “The will to practice must be landrygreater than the will to win.” Leaders in the world of Sunday School and small groups have recognized something similar – if you commit to prepare, you’ll experience success – 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 group’s Bible study. 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 30 minutes a day. If you are willing to give up a sitcom or other television show that lasts 30 minutes and use that time to prepare your group’s Bible study, you’ll experience a new level of success as a group leader.

Sunday afternoon

  • 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


  • 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


  • 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?


  • Review your curriculum’s Leader Guide and the teaching plan
  • 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 plan
  • Gather needed supplies


  • Review your teaching plan a final time
  • Get to bed on time that night!

Sunday morning

  • 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


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