As teachers of adult bible study curriculum we are not immune to the command to take a Sabbath day of rest. We need this to refresh and refocus. Because if we get too tired and run down then we lose focus and power in our teaching and we are not as effective in our spiritual walk with God. We are designed this way. It is okay to stop every once in awhile. Granted some people rest too much but this does not mean that we should put an extra day in to make up for it. I am sure that you have a lot going on on top of taking on leading your small group. But if you will follow this principle and plan your time well, you will find times for rest and be much better off. If you check out our training center you will see we have a video about this. There is a study plan that if you follow you can actually have an entire day, maybe two to purely rest. So do not over do it and end up burning yourself out. Take time for rest so that you can stay in this for the long haul.
Before you begin to teach adult bible study curriculum from week to week you need to make sure that your own house is clean first. The bible talks about someone being able to handle their own family before they can even begin to think about leading others. Because of this we need to make sure, that as much as in our hands, we are doing things right at home. Now we could discuss exactly who is family and all of those things but I find them to be fruitless arguments. I firmly believe that you in your spirit know what you need to be doing to make things right with your family and the other relationships in your life. I also believe that all of this starts with you cleaning house on the inside of yourself. Hopefully I didn't try to be too poetic there. What I mean is that making sure that your heart is right, that your sin is confessed, and that all anger and bitterness is removed from you. If you strive to make things right with God, then the other relationships will either fall into place or at least you can be at peace with what you have done, and
As you study your Adult Bible Study Curriculum this week, how do you feel? Are you excited? Is the anticipating building as you prepare for this next opportunity to teach? Or are you just exhausted? Are you feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of having to study again. I find myself there sometimes. I know I am battling those feelings this very week. I love what I do and look forward to it each time. But know matter how much we love what we do and look forward to it we are all still susceptible to the same emotions. We all can get worn down. As we get worn down we run the risk of forgetting why we do what we do. We run the risk of doing things half-heartedly or just quitting altogether. Don't let this happen to you. If you are battling these emotions slow down for a bit. Take some time to relax and recharge and then dig back in to the Adult Bible Study Curriculum. Not only will you benefit but so will all the people around you.
This morning I was fully prepared to teach the Adult Bible Study Curriculum that I had for this week. I studied and was just making final preparations for the hour that we had together today. I even was prepared to interject illustrations and information from my own experience. Then at the last moment I had a wonderful conversation with someone in the class. Out of that conversation I felt God telling me that we needed to stop and go in a different direction. I still taught same basic lesson but the focus was slightly different. God gives us divine appointments and we need to be prepared to fulfill them. Today I did and it allowed me to walk away with a sense of peace that I had done what I was supposed to do. These moments can be scary. If you are new to teaching Adult Bible Study Curriculum it may make you nervous to pull away from the plan. This is understandable. Doing it well can take some experience. But when God lays something on our hearts we must step up and be obedient and trust that He will provide all that we need and work through us.
Part of preparing to teach your Adult Bible Study Curriculum is having a backup plan. This is two fold. One you need to have a backup plan in case there is anything unexpected in class. Perhaps you have a PowerPoint. What if the projector breaks or the computer malfunctions? If you have a video what if the DVD player breaks? You need to prepare for the unexpected. Maybe you have an activity that requires multiple groups and not that many people come to class. These things are all small and trivial in the grand scheme of things but if you are unprepared they can completely derail a lesson. It is not that we need these things to be an effective teacher but we need to be prepared for them to not work properly. The second part of this is you need to have someone else ready to teach at any moment. You are probably a volunteer and you have many responsibilities in life. We all have those unexpected moments that throw a kink in our plans. You need to have someone you trust who you can call at any moment if need be that can teach the Adult Bible Study Curriculum. Do not assume everything will run smoothly all the time. Be prepared with a backup plan or two.
One of the things that often missing from the Adult Bible Study Curriculum that is out there and from the church in general is discipleship. We are great at evangelism and sharing the Gospel but discipleship is so much more than that. Discipleship is the long term relationships that we build with others in order to train them in being a follower of Christ. In that relationship we also model for them what it looks like to be a follower of Christ. This is not only what we are called to do but it is also what Jesus modeled for us while He was on earth. Yes He reached out to thousands of people while on earth but most of HIs time was devoted into investing in 12 people. We need to remember this model. As we teach our Adult Bible Study Curriculum we need to do more than just share the Gospel or teach. We need to build relationships with others and train them in what it means to be a follower of Christ. Then they can turn around and do the same. It does take more commitment on our part but it is necessary.
In order for your bible study and your Adult Bible Study Curriculum to be fully effective, you need to have a vision for what it all needs look like. You need to pray and figure out what God's goals are for the group. You need to then work with the end in mind and try to decide exactly what you need to do to get to your goals. Then once you have that vision it should drive you every week and every day. But there is another step. You need to cast that vision for your group. Maybe not all at once but steadily they need to hear your goals for the group. Then they will be able to know exactly where the group is heading and what role they can play. They will know what the expectations are from week to week as they come to the group and they will what they are working towards. Also, work the vision into your Adult Bible Study Curriculum teaching each week since it should all coincide together anyways. Plus this will keep the vision fresh on the minds of those in your group and allow new people to catch the vision.
An important part of being an effective teacher of Adult Bible Study Curriculum is support. Teaching is not always easy and can become discouraging. You need people who can lift you up and keep you going. Another benefit of having a support system is that the people around you can make you better. They can be a sounding board for you to bounce ideas off of and they can tell you whether or not you need to tweak or change them. They can also push you. I try to keep a few people in my life who I feel are better at what I do than I am. They push me because I always want to try and keep up. I still am myself but I always try to work as hard as possible at being creative. Do not try to mimic them but see the relationship as iron sharpening iron. We are not designed to do life alone and teaching Adult Bible Study Curriculum is not exempt from this. Bujild a support system that can push you and challenge you.
As a teacher of Adult Bible Study Curriculum one of the most difficult yet most important parts of my job is to have patience. I love the material we are talking about and enjoy studying it. Often though people do not undedrstand the things I am teaching as quickly as I would like them too. You have probably found yourself in this same situation from time to time. It is very easy to become frustrated and ask yourself why people can not learn or what their problem is. This is where patience becomes key. You have to slow down and first examine yourself. Could you communitcate or illustrate the point a little differently. You also have to remember that the people in your group have not studied the material in the Adult Bible Study Curriculum as much as you have. Many times we have known things for so long that we forget we had to learn them at some point just like the people in our class do. I know teaching is not always as rewarding and easy as we would like it to be. But if you will be patient it will all work out in the end.
Alot of Adult Bible Study Curriculum is geared towards helping people who are already Christians grow deeper in their faith. This is wise because often times the people who come in to your bible study are taking their next step not only in your church and minstry but also in their personal walk with Christ. But we can never be certain of this. We can never be sure of what the background is of the person who is coming in to our class or where they are spiritually. For all we know everyone in our bible study in a given week may be lost. Because of this I always like to make a point to put the Gospel in to each lesson. I just feel we should never speak or teach without sharing it. We sjhould never pass up the opportunity to help someone experience life change. This may mean you have to put in some extra time tweaking the lesson but the possibility of someone being changed for all of eternity makes it completely worth it.