One of the more challenging things to do as a leader is get things started in the right direction. People arrive with all kinds of things on their minds, questions they want answered, and needs they want met. Some of these can take us down rabbit trails of which there is no return. We want to be sensitive to people but we also know people arrive with the expectation of there being some type of Bible study as well. Here are some things we can do to help us introduce a lesson and direct attention to that lesson.
- Arrive first. The class or group time begins when the first person arrives in the room or area. We need to make sure that person is us. That enables us to make sure the space is ready for us and lets us set the tone and course of conversation as people arrive.
- Give clues. If we have a board in our room, we can write something on the board that at least gives some attention to the main point of the lesson. It could be a question like the one found at the beginning of each session in the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide. We could include a single word or fact that fosters discussion. We may even write the summary statement or main point for that session on the board.
TIP: Nametag exercise. If our group uses name tags, handwritten each week of course, we can direct them to print their name and then under it, a response to a question that relates to the lesson. For example, studying the life of Solomon, we might ask them to record the one thing you would ask for if they were king.
- Be intentional. We are the leader and set the tone. Waiting until everyone arrives to “begin” means we have allowed others to be the leader until that beginning time. Provide an activity, question, or response to something that can be done while the rest of the group arrives that helps those already there to consider the point of the lesson. We might provide an object that emphasizes the main idea, or some other activity that relates to what we will be leading them to examine.
- Start with the provided suggestions. The Leader Guides always include some type of help here. We may use the suggestion as it is written, or it may spark another idea. For example, if the idea is about warning lights on a car, we might create a test on warning lights, show a car manual, or have a drawing contest for the most ignored warning light. These ideas are created by others who teach as well but that does not mean you have to do it just like they do or have suggested.
The leader helps found in the Explore the Bible resources give us ideas and places to start when creating a plan for our class or group time. If you want to know more about how to use the resources, look at the videos on the Explore the Bible How to Use page.
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