Today’s blog post is a teaching tip about “coming attractions.” If you’ve been to the movies lately, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Just last week, my wife and I sat through 25 minutes of previews before a movie (Toy Story 4). As we watched other movies at our local theater over the course of the month, we saw almost 2.5 hours of coming attractions! That’s a lot of movie previews! But I am well-prepared to make decisions about which movies I want to see later this summer.
As I sat through hours of movie previews, it occurred to me that there is a lesson to be learned. Our movie theater friends know the importance of showing us coming attractions. It’s how they build excitement and anticipation for upcoming movies. Why not use the same principle in our Bible study groups? Here are 4 ways you can preview upcoming Bible studies, especially in your student and adult groups:
- Preview the title and author of the next study. If your next Bible study is written by a “heavy hitter” – a Tony Evans or someone who is highly recognized, remind your group members who the author is, what he’s written before, and they will benefit from his Bible study material.
- Preview the titles of individual sessions. To generate interest in the entire unit of study, preview the titles of individual sessions. Let your group members know that one of the upcoming sessions will be “Balancing your work and family life,” or something else that might hook their interest. This is sometimes called an “advanced organizer” – something that helps your learners see where the study is headed and how the individual studies relate to the overall topic at hand.
- Preview one key Bible study session. There’s usually one study in a unit of study that really stands out – the best of the best. Focus attention on that one study and why you’re excited to be covering the topic in a few weeks.
- Preview with people in mind. As you preview the author, series title, session titles, or a single session in an upcoming unit of study, conclude the preview by asking your group members to think about a person (or persons) whom they know would benefit from the study. Use this as a way to motivate your group members to proactively invite friends, neighbors, and co-workers to become involved in a future Bible study.
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