Christian Education: How to Prepare to Teach a Bible Book

1. Assume you know little about this book, even if you have already studied it extensively.

2. Begin by reading the book through at one setting, if feasible. Read it again, in another translation.

3. Make your own outline of the book, then compare yours with five or six other outlines from Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias or commentaries.

4. Select good commentaries, ones that “read” to you. If the author is abstract, confusing or liberal, keep shopping. Don’t consider a commentary to be “dated” just because it is 100 years old.  (How old is the Bible book you are studying?)

5. Throughout your study, saturate your preparation time with prayer. Continually ask the Holy Spirit to bless your students and to show you what specific topics to emphasize. He knows their needs perfectly.  Do not assume that you do.

6. Skim the book again, selecting all key concepts, phrases and words.  Define all difficult words completely. Even if you have the students do word studies, you need to be sure you understand the original meanings of these words.

7. Select all key passages you will teach exegetically.

8. Keep passages in context. How does the passage relate to what precedes and follows it? How does each passage relate to the theme(s) of the book? How does the entire book relate to the rest of Scripture?

9. Using your outline, know the gist of each major section. Sum it up in a paragraph of your own creation. This will help give you focus and direction.

10. Study each section verse by verse, taking notes on each verse of a given section. Use several good commentaries. When you feel you have a solid grasp of the verse, working from your written notes, type your thoughts in outline form. 

11. Using this method, you will develop extensive notes on a given Bible book. Store them. Make a hard copy. Back them up. You do not want to lose the   work you’ve put into the study of a Bible book. (Don’t ask me how I know!)

12. Determine how the passage relates to the students needs and level of development. Relate the original meaning to the needs of today’s students.

13. Determine lesson-goals. The Cognitive (to know); the Affective (to feel); the Behavioral (to do); and the Existential (to become).

14. Continually saturate every aspect of your studies with prayer in the Spirit.

Maxim of the Moment

Faults are thick where love is thin.