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.
Pace your Bible Study
Some of us need to pace our Bible studies. Like the Hare, we may tend to “run fast” through a lesson, thinking we’re winning. Here are a few helpful tips so that you can win the race each time you teach the Bible. It’s all about pacing yourself and your Bible study:
- 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 5 minutes for a question, illustration, video clip, or news story. As you move into part 2 of your lesson (Examination) spend 30 minutes digging into the Scripture. As you wrap up your study and move to the final step (Application) budget another 10 minutes. That’s 45 minutes total, which is about what most groups have for Bible study, give or take. Pacing your Bible study helps you guide a balanced session that doesn’t feel rushed.
- 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 Bible study 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 photo of my leader guide) which reminds me of the time each section of my lesson should take to complete in my 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. If your Bible study materials don’t have this feature, you can write it in on the one you use each week; if you want your opening to take 5 minutes, write that in the margin of your teaching guide – it’ll help you stay on pace.
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