FAQ about Bible Lesson Introductions

FAQ about Bible Lesson Introductions

Bible teachers might have specific questions that could make their teaching better when answered.

Some frequently asked questions about Bible lesson introductions follow.

How important is a good introduction to the lesson?

People often come into the classroom distracted. Their attention needs to be pulled from these concerns to the lesson at hand. Students need to know why they should be there. A good introduction will do this. To Read: Lesson Introduction – Important to Have One

What should the introduction do?

It should capture their attention. It should transition them from life concerns and issues into the Word, showing the relevance of what is to be studied. It should connect them with the truth to follow much like a bridge takes us from one place to another.

What means can be used?

A great variety of means can be used. What you choose could depend on the length of your session, the age of your students, or available resources. The purpose you want to accomplish through the introduction should be a determining factor. You might do something interesting like an object lesson or experiment. You might present a challenge through the use of a question or case study. You might try something entertaining, yet with a purpose, such as a video clip or skit. Perhaps something engaging would fit such as telling a story or giving a personal illustration. Maybe something creative, like an ice-breaker type of activity, would pull them in.

What about reviewing the previous lesson?

Unless creatively presented, a basic review of the previous lesson can turn people off more than turn them on to what is yet to come. The main reason to provide a review is if that session builds upon previous knowledge. If that is the case, you can wait to bring in particular truths at the times needed rather than offer a lengthy, boring review. If you are concerned about catching up those who missed the previous session, consider other ways you could do that prior to the session.

How long should the lesson introduction be?

An introduction only needs to be long enough to capture students’ attention and give you a transitioning point into the Bible study. If the introduction consumes a large portion of the lesson, it is probably too long. Your objective should be to grab their attention and then move on to the study of God’s Word.

Should the introduction be more exciting, or entertaining, than the remainder of the lesson?

Of any part of the lesson that could have an entertaining value to it, the beginning is it. You want to grab their attention. Yet, you don’t want to go so over the top with the introduction that the remainder of the lesson seems boring in contrast. Getting into God’s Word should be exciting! Make all of the lesson engaging.

Conclusion or Application?

Conclusion or Application in Bible Lesson?“In conclusion ….”

These words, often spoken at the end of a speech or written discourse, signify the end … a summary of what’s been said, the main points the speaker wanted to get across, or perhaps an opinion of what should be done about it.

If used by a teacher or preacher, “in conclusion” often triggers a shutdown response. Students close their Bibles and start thinking about what they have to do next. The actual words in themselves can short circuit a lesson but so can what follows that phrase. Even if “in conclusion” hasn’t been used, the end of the session can be nothing more than a conclusion of what’s been said.

Bible lessons must contain application, not merely a conclusion.

The end of a lesson must get beyond summarizing or reviewing the key points. Yes, we must “know” the truth which sets us free (Jn. 8:32). We must be filled “with the knowledge of His will” but it is so we “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Col. 1:9-10). We aren’t going to apply the Word if we don’t “know” the Word but studying Scripture is only the starting point.

Question for Bible Teachers: How can you challenge people to take it further, to go deeper, to do something with those truths?

The end of a lesson needs to be more than rendering a verdict about what has been studied. While we want people to believe the truths presented in the lesson, we need to take it further for “even the demons believe” truths about God (James 2:19). — “make every effort to add to your faith goodness …” (2 Pet. 1:5-7) “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17) “Faith without deeds is useless.” (James 2:20)

Question for Bible Teachers: How can you help students not only see the implications of truth to their lives but also understand how to apply it to everyday living?

When was the last you provided teacher training on the application of the lesson?

Resource: Application – It’s God’s Idea, Not Merely a Good Idea Worksheet

Adult Bible Teachers as Co-learners

If, as noted in a previous post, adult learners desire collaboration in the Bible classroom or small group setting, then teachers of adults must see their role as co-learners in order to make it a place their students want to be.

To Promote Collaboration Adult Bible Teachers must be Co-learners
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

Teachers of Adult Bible Classes who are Co-learners Cannot be Seen as:

  • the answer person

Perhaps the teacher does know more about the Bible than the students but to come across as a “know-it-all” can stifle a collaborative atmosphere. This can happen because of the teacher’s attitude and approach. But, it can also occur when teachers are too quick to respond. Fearing silence, many teachers answer when students fail to speak up immediately. Silence following a question, however, is not a bad thing. Students sometimes need time to think. With an objective of learning together, students must be allowed and encouraged to engage in the process rather than always defaulting to the teacher for answers.

  • spiritually superior

God does hold teachers to a greater level of accountability (James 3:1) but that does not make them superior. Prayerfully teachers are growing in their walk with the Lord but who they are depends on God’s grace. What they do in their teaching depends on God’s power. Teachers who view themselves higher than their students or who are perceived as such because of their position, stifle a collaborative atmosphere. Even if teachers are further along spiritually, they still can learn and grow, making them co-learners.

To be Co-learners in the Teaching-Learning Process, Adult Teachers Need the Following:

  • the right attitude/heart qualities

When teachers understand that who they are and what they do is because of God’s grace and power, they will have the humility needed to be co-learners.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Phil. 2:6-7)

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead … (Phil. 3:12-13)

  • the right perspective/understanding

Teachers who truly believe we are all in this together, that it’s how God designed the Body to operate, will promote interdependence, not dependence on one person. They will value and respect the contribution of their students. They will consequently build into the lesson methods that allow for collaboration such as asking questions and discussion. The constant use of lecture says, “I have all the answers and I will tell you what you need to know.”

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:16)

As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” … should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. … Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor. 12:20-27)

More:  Teaching Bible to Adult Age Level Teacher Training Resources

Foundation Builders Need Jesus’ Approach

Train Nursery & Toddler Workers to be Foundation Builders
Click image to learn more about this training resource.

 

Jesus welcomed young children to Himself because He valued them and knew that they too needed His touch (Matt. 19:13-15).

Yet, He related to the young children differently than others He taught.

Jesus’ Approach to Ministering to Young Children

A study of Jesus’ teaching ministry would reveal that He primarily taught adults with lecture and questions. He also used object lessons and word pictures to connect spiritual truths to that which was already familiar to them.

When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” He did not gather them around Himself to lecture them. Rather, He touched them, blessing them with His presence. “He took the children in his arms” (Mk. 10:16). Very possibly He laughed along with them and perhaps even played with them. Though Scripture does not say Jesus got down on their level and into their world like this, it does express His delight in them and His touch.

Nursery Workers, as Foundation Builders, Need This Kind of Approach

Workers need this same kind of developmental understanding of this age level. They need to understand the limited attention span of young children and not over-structure the session yet still bring them to Jesus by touching them with His love and speaking of Him as they care for them and play with them.

Resource:  Early Childhood Age Level Characteristics Module Download