Today’s teaching tip is for any person who teaches/leads/guides/facilitates a Bible study group. There are many, many things you can do as a teacher/shepherd/leader to make a positive impact on your group. Today, I am recommending what I believe could be the number one change you could incorporate into your role as a teacher. Do this and you will likely change both you and your group – forever. Ready? Here it is:
Arrive 30 minutes early.
That’s it. Are you disappointed? Surprised? Don’t be! This one change to your habits can make all the difference in the world to you and your group. Here’s why you want to adjust your schedule to make arriving 30 minutes early a reality – every time you teach!
- You eliminate surprises. Have you ever arrived to teach a Bible study only to find out that some piece of equipment you need is missing? Or have you arrived only to discover that your room was somehow overlooked and the carpet wasn’t vacuumed or the trash wasn’t emptied? When you arrive early, you have plenty of time to deal with distractions in the learning environment.
- You increase excellence. Excellence is in the details – it’s the small things that make or break a Bible study experience. When you arrive early, you have the time you need to pay attention to lighting, temperature, the cleanliness of the room, and other things. If you teach children, you have time to place their materials at their places on tables. If you teach students, you have time to set up a video clip, game, or other learning readiness activity to help them mentally jump into the Bible study.
- You have time to relax. We’ve all known the anxiety that can take place when we have arrived late and are scrambling to get things set up for our group members. When you arrive early, you finish your preparation for the group time early, and you have a moment or two to breathe. A lower heart rate and lower anxiety are two things that will benefit you in the short and long run!
- You can greet people with a clear focus. One of the best reasons for arriving early is so that you can complete your setup and focus on each and every person as they arrive. There’s nothing worse than group members or guests arriving and engaging us in conversation when we are trying to set up for the teaching experience – our minds are just not attentive or focused on the real reason we teach: people! It’s so much better to be able to greet each person, ask them about their week, and be available relationally. This can only happen when we’ve arrived early and have checked off items on our “pre-flight checklist.”
- You have time to pray. Imagine that. You have time to pray over the seats that men, women, boys, or girls will soon occupy as they arrive for your group time. How would you like to be able to tell your group members they have been prayed for, as well as your Bible study time? Unless you arrive early, say 30 minutes early, you won’t have time to give to this important action.
- You have time to review. As a group leader, you’ve spent time preparing your Bible study. The last thing you want to do is to arrive late, scurry around, and jump right into your Bible study. You need time to glance back at your notes, the central truth you want to drive home, and how you’ll open the Bible study and generate interest on the part of your group members.
Change your teaching ministry, and change yourself and your group members, by committing to always arrive 30 minutes early. Watch and see that this is an important habit that can change your group and your outlook on teaching!
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