Making Sunday School Lessons 100% Better

Monday 24th August, 2015
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Who is the judge of whether a Sunday School lesson is better? Without question, God is the ultimate judge. As a result, it is essential for you to...

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV)

God expects us to "rightly handle" the Word and lessons every Sunday. God and His people deserve our best effort. That requires prayerful preparation and purposeful presentation.

In addition to God, group members are also in a position to judge whether lessons are better. Assuming prayerful preparation, what are some elements of purposeful presentation that can move our lesson toward dramatic improvement? What can we do on Sunday morning to make our lessons 100% better? Consider the following:
  • Arrive early. Be intentional about every moment. Avoid rushing. Be prayerful and relational.
  • Prayerwalk and prepare the classroom. Members tend to sit in the same seats. Pray for each regular and expectantly for guests.
  • Greet members and guests. While every class benefits from a greeter, the teacher gains relational capital from moments of listening and care invested before the lesson.
  • Start on time. Don't wait for late-arrivers. Consistently start on time. That may include welcome, announcements, and prayer in care groups. But ensure that any preliminaries have a time limit so the lesson has a sufficient, consistent amount of time.
  • Capture interest. Get attention. Point toward the lesson or truth or relevance for the day. Get minds in the room--off of work tasks, grocery lists, arguments, and other distractions.
  • Review. In a minute or two help participants to remember the point of last week's lesson.
  • Preview. In a minute or two, lead participants to grasp where today's lesson will be going.
  • Use the Bible. Avoid teaching out of the teacher's book. The power to change lives comes from God in His Word. Help them to "see" that by your use of the Bible.
  • Set scripture in context. Answer the who, what, when where, how, and why questions about the author, original hearers, and setting. What was the original point? Don't spend all your time here, but spend enough time to avoid setting the truth of the passage out of context.
  • Use varied teaching methods to address learning styles. Use variety with purpose. Get everyone involved. Involvement and addressing varied learning styles raises interest and retention. Making assignments to smaller groups is an effective involvement method.
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to work. Expect His presence. Expect illumination and conviction. Follow where He leads--even if it is different than your plan.
  • Summarize and review. Briefly outline the lesson. Identify the point of the passage and its relevance for today.
  • Apply the truth. Help learners apply the truth. Lead them to invite the Holy Spirit to help them personalize the passage and to identify the response that is expected.
  • Lead them to commit and pray. Lead them to agree to respond in obedience to His expectations and pray in commitment and for help.
  • Preview and make assignments. Briefly mention next week's lesson and make as assignment related to it.
  • Close in prayer. Pray together related to the lesson and application needs of the group.
  • End on time. Avoid ending late. Send them from class to live out the truth.
Assess last week's lesson. Start with 100 points, then subtract 5 points for each of the 17 elements listed that you did not include last week. How many points did you score? What can you do to raise your score this week? Can you double last week's score? That would be 100% better. Give God and His people your best. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas, check out these blog posts:

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