What is the difference between a Bible class that zings and one that flops? Do you ever get to the end of a Bible class session or even an entire quarter and think, “Well, that was a waste of time, but at least its over”? Your classes don’t have to be like this. They can take a step up whether you are writing your own material or using someone else’s, whether you are teaching kids or adults, whether you are a beginning teacher or experienced. Let me show you how.
I’m teaching the high school class at the Brownsburg church right now. As every one who knows me at all knows, that is a challenge for me. When you mix together the fact that I’m a bit more task-oriented than people-oriented, the fact that I’m just not very cool, and my propensity to be absolutely boring to teenagers and you can see why I get a little insecure whenever I’m in that class. But, I like to get out of my comfort zone sometimes and I need to get to know these guys better, so I volunteered.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve become the best teacher in the world. I’m not saying my classes are always 100% the favorite of every person that walks in. But I am saying they don’t founder any more. They stay on task and they accomplish things. When I’m done with my class I can now say more than, “Whew, at least that’s over.”
The key is not in the decorations on the walls. The key is not the subject matter at hand. The key is not the class book. The key is the 5 questions I ask before every class (btw: I ask these same questions when writing sermons too). I certainly didn’t come up with these on my own. I think I heard them from folks like John Maxwell and Andy Stanley. But they have definitely changed my preparation to teach and they’ve made my classes better.
Here they are:
- What do I want the class to know?
- Why do I want them to know it?
- What do I want the class to do?
- Why do I want them to do it?
- What is the win for this class?
There it is. No matter what you are teaching, asking these questions ahead of time can make the class zing.
The first two what questions help you determine the main focus of the class. Too may classes simply wade through a series of questions that someone wrote just to fill up time. This has a tendency to cover so much information that the students don’t remember any of it. The two why questions help you determine the relevancy. If you can’t figure out why your goals are relevant to the students and convey that to them, don’t expect them to hang on to what you teach them. The win question helps you figure out the measurable goal of the class.
Once you’ve figured this out, then you can determine how to use your material. Do you need to just focus on one section in the lesson and let the students do the rest on their own? Do you need to bring in supplementary material? Do you need a group activity? a YouTube video? role-playing? intense discussion?
Don’t make the mistake of just trying to jump to some “fun” activities without first determining what the class is to be about. If all you’re doing is trying to make it through the hour, it doesn’t matter how much fun your students had, the class was a flop. When you’ve figured out what the class is about and used all your time to accomplish that goal, then your class zings. And, I assure you, in the long run, most of your students will appreciate it more.
So, get to work and make your class zing.
Question: What other keys have helped you in making your Bible classes Zing? Leave a comment and let us know.