Joel was called upon to teach his class and he struggled with what to say. He had a lesson provided by the book but he had never taught before. He didn’t want to just read it because he knew he would hate that if he was in the class when someone else did it. He didn’t want to say something wrong. He didn’t want to make a mistake. What he was feeling is a normal amount of pressure. The Bible tells us that teachers will be judged more harshly than others.
The next time you get in a bind ask these 3 questions. The next time someone wants to bring up a Scripture passage ask these 3 questions. These 3 questions get at the root of any Bible story. The next time you are asked to teach a class and there is no lesson book or guide ask these 3 questions.
Question #1 What do we learn about God in this passage?
You can actually ask three versions of this questions. I believe in a triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, you could ask what you learn about God, or Jesus, or the Spirit. The heart of this question is to get the group thinking about God. We all enter class thinking about a LOT of things unrelated to God. Once the discussion gets going during study time this is a great opening question after the story/scripture is taught. Move the hearts of your people toward God.
Question #2 What do we learn about ourselves in the passage?
Scripture has an uncanny way of piercing the internal areas of our lives, those private thoughts and actions. Because God wants an intimate relationship with us, His Word lays us open so that all can be seen. This type of intimacy breeds integrity, authenticity, and honesty. Asking your group to share what this reveals about humanity, namely, themselves, creates bonds of friendship and family in your group. However, it also helps us remember that reading and studying scripture is not solely academic. We need to allow scripture to penetrate our mood swings, our anxieties, and our pride.
Question #3 What are we going to do about what we have learned?
If we just learn about God and His Word if fall short. If we just have a support group feel where everyone shares we fall short. Putting what we learn into practice is a vital component of any lesson. Allow time in your group for this important question. We must take God’s Word and put it into action. Encourage your people to think personally. Of course, there are those moments when the passage speaks to the group. The group as a unit needs to act. Yet, that group has individuals and each need to take responsible action.
These 3 questions are not the only things you can ask your group, but they do create a stir of discussion. Some may wonder if this is “deep” enough for a group setting. If your people walked away from class or study group with the knowledge of God and His Word, a greater awareness of themselves from God’s view, and the encouragement to act, they would be equipped for their walk with Christ.