I’ve been asked to teach in the adult Sunday School class on Sunday morning of this coming week. This is not my normal class but the regular teacher can’t be there this week and has asked me to fill in and bring my class along with me.
This of course has introduced the problem (opportunity!) of what do I teach. Our two classes don’t use the same curriculum and both classes are in the middle of topical studies that would be rather difficult to just jump into the middle of and have it all be relevant and interesting to the other class. So I’m not going to use either curriculum but will instead do something completely different.
This brings me to my point. How do I prepare a single lesson for an age group that I don’t normally teach and have it be relevant to all who are listening?
I start with God’s Word. I’ve always been rather free form with my quiet time and bible study and will flip between books and chapters within the same week and just read. God’s Word is amazing in that I never fail to find inspiration, strength, encouragement and wisdom within it’s pages and often God reveals new truths to me in passages that I’ve read many times before. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NKJV) Because the Word is alive and because we have the Holy Spirit as our guide the time and effort that we put into studying the Bible always, always produces fruit. I cannot overstate that.
Here’s the exciting part. If you find something in God’s Word that excites and inspires you and you have the ability to read the Bible out loud and explain why it excites and inspires you then you have the basis for a really good Sunday School lesson or group Bible study. God will use your passion for His Word to excite and inspire other believers. You could be the catalyst that God uses to bring someone to redemption, to renewed dedication and to a deeper and more abiding love for God and his Word.
And if none of that happens then at the very worst you have learned something and grown in your walk as a believer. I truly believe that as a Sunday School teacher I have learned and benefited more from my study and preparation time than any of my pupils. Remember when I said that time and effort put into Bible study always produces fruit? Well get ready because much of that fruit will be produced in you and will be visible to others.
Matthew 5:15 is the inspiration for this Blog but in the very next verse Jesus says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” In other words that fruit that others can see in you will bring glory to God. There is no downside here.
Colossians chapters 2 through 4 have been particularly exciting to me this week. I can’t wait to share what God has shown me and I pray that the Holy Spirit would speak and work through me.