Do you remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? It is one of Aesop’s Fables and has been read by millions of children and adults. In the story, two unequal partners square off in a race. The Hare quickly runs ahead of the slower Tortoise, but stops to take a nap. The victory went to the tortoise, who paced himself and became the unlikely victor. Is there a lesson in there for Bible study group leaders? Absolutely. Slow and steady wins the race!
Pace your Bible Study
Those of us who teach often need help pacing our Bible studies. Like the Hare, we may tend to “run fast” through a lesson, thinking we’re winning. At other times, we speed up during one stage of our teaching, only to slow down the pace in another section. Here are a few helpful tips so that you can win the race each time you teach the Bible; all you have to do is pace yourself!
- Pace each part of your Bible study – most studies have 3 parts: Motivation, Examination, and Application. When you begin your Bible study and you attempt to capture people’s interest in the lesson (Motivation) allow 10 minutes or so. As you move into part 2 of your lesson (Examination) spend 25-30 minutes digging into the Scripture. As you wrap up your study and move to the final step (Application) don’t feel bad about using another 10 minutes. That’s about 45 minutes total, which is the time that most groups have for Bible study.
- Watch the clock – Be sure the place you meet has a clock that is easily viewed by you. I’ve got one on the wall opposite where I teach, so it’s always in view. It helps me keep track of how much time has passed, which helps me pace my Bible study.
- Use a curriculum that helps you set the pace – one of the reasons I use Bible Studies For Life as my go-to curriculum in my Bible study group is because it’s designed to help me pace my lesson. It has built-in “clocks” (see the graphic) which remind me of the time each section of my lesson should take to complete as a group. If I plan my lesson according to those suggested times, I will always complete my lesson at a good pace and without rushing through it.
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