So, you've found yourself in a teaching position with children or youth at your church, and you want to make sure our teaching stays gospel centered. Here are six questions you should be asking.
- Have you prepared to teach? Preparation sets the tone for your teaching. The lesson needs to be prayerfully considered. Start early. Review often. If all you want to accomplish is conveying information then, by all means, leave your prep until the night before. Preparation is the first step toward pursuing transformation. Without being prepared to teach, real gospel change rarely happens.
- How has your prep changed you? As you are preparing to teach, how is it affecting you? What are you learning? Is there an area of sin in your life God has revealed? Is there a new challenge he's calling you to step into? Do you need to repent or obey? God wants to transform you then give your transformed life to others.
- Does what you've prepared point to Jesus? Whether you are writing your own curriculum or using one, does your lesson point to Jesus? If not, then it's just biblical information. At worst, you've crafted a moralistic lesson that will produce little Pharisees.
- Is your lesson applicable? Does it have a point of application? God cares about what we know and what we do. Without application the lesson you teach will not transform your hearers.
- How are you tying your teaching to God's one big redemptive story? When we don't connect our teaching to the grand narrative of Scripture, we can make God seem small and situational. Kids need to see that God's actions in one instance connect with his larger purposes. How does your lesson tie into last week’s or next week’s?
- Is your application aimed at the heart? This question is the most important. Real change begins with our affections. So, if we're seeking transformation, we need to aim at what kids and students love.
The we prepare to teach and aim our lessons at practical application, the better chance our students will receive the message and truly be changed by it. I pray the Holy Spirit uses these questions to give the seeds you are sowing better ground for heart transformation.
Are there other questions that you’d add to this list? What questions do you ask yourself when you are preparing Bible lessons?