Somewhere I read that G. Campbell Morgan, the excellent British pastor and expositor, would go through a book of the Bible a minimum of 40 times prior to teaching it. Any less and he felt unprepared.
We pastors typically reserve a few days on the church calendar for an extensive Bible research study on a particular style or book of Scriptures. Our denomination– the Southern Baptist Convention– has for lots of years promoted a “January Bible Study” or “Mid-winter Bible Study.” This time– January, 2019– it will be Discovery 2-3,”The Letters to the 7 Churches of Asia Minor.”
I’ll be teaching this for numerous days at a church near Birmingham, Alabama, and hopefully another location or 2. But months beforehand, I’ve been dealing with it, trying to discover all I can in order to feel competent to teach it. Never ever mind that I’ve taught through Revelation a number of times and preached preachings on these 7 churches in the past. None of that means much at the minute. The difficulty is not to dig out old notes and rehash ancient messages, but to listen once again for what the Holy Spirit is saying through His always-up-to-date Word. The Word does not alter, however its application to our lives is as fresh as it’s possible to get.
I’ve changed. I’m not the exact same individual as years ago when I pastored churches. I open the Scriptures and tackle this delightful job with excitement about what the Dad has in store.
It’ll be intriguing to see how this Bible study develops.
Here are some criteria I’m setting for myself which I advise upon others who set about to teach a portion of God’s Word.
From the start, prayer is the biggest necessity. “Lord, what do you desire these people to know from Thy word?”
I wish myself as I study. “Lord, you inspired this. You’ve heard every Bible study and preaching from it. Now, be my Instructor, please.”
Strategy what to cover and what not to cover. The obstacle is not to give the individuals so much details as to overwhelm them, nor so little regarding leave them unchallenged. For that, the Holy Spirit will have to guide. It’s so difficult to know.
So, early on I pick a plan: “I wish to give background to Discovery and to each of the 7 cities. However I will spend many of the time and energy on opening these seven letters in the text. The objective is not to make our individuals smart, but wiser in the ways of the Lord and to provide more of themselves into His service.”
Consider this a care, pastor/teacher. It’s possible to overwhelm your people with word research studies, historic background, theological implications, history of the analysis of this text, quotes from numerous writers and preachers, and your individual viewpoint. Unless you provide advance believed to what you will bring in and what you must omit, you may discover yourself investing too much time introducing a Scripture and preparing the audience but not leave yourself enough time to deal with the actual text.
That’s why there is no alternative to preparation.
3. Fill your mind with the text.
Newbies mistakenly think they ought to begin by reading commentaries and other peoples’ writings on the text. This is backward. Long prior to opening a commentary, the would-be instructor should check out the assigned Scripture again and again up until it is fixed in his mind. Only when that Bible resides in him and he has believed it well through needs to he open the works of others to see what assistance they can provide.
4. Think about the text.
Whether you call it studying, meditating, or just “believing,” after reading the text enough to repair it in your mind and heart, it’s best to show on it as much as you can. Our guide on this comes from Deuteronomy 6 where God told His people they were to put the Word in their hearts, then to teach them to their boys and talk of them when they being in your house, walk by the method, when they lie down, and when they rise up. All of that is to say, Let these Scriptures penetrate your mind and heart and every element of your life. Believe and speak about them.
“Because Law (Word) doth he meditate day and night” ( Psalm 1:2).
5. Your goal will determine your techniques.
What do you wish to achieve here? Your audience will often determine both the objective and the approaches. Are you teaching seminary students dealing with masters degrees? Trainees in a Bible college? Laypeople in a classroom setting? Are you teaching high schoolers? Are you in the church auditorium resolving the entire congregation or a classroom of Sunday School teachers seated before tables?
Is this going to be a devotional study? If so, your emphasis will be on truths to live by, and you’ll wish to have some great illustrations and examples. Tell some stories of people who got this right. Or is it going to be scholastic with you utilizing exegetical methodology in order to discuss systematic faith?
6. Decide what study assists you will use.
You do not have time to read everything written on any Bible or everything available on the internet. Unless you are experienced at this, the finest way to pick study helps is to ask veteran ministers and teachers.
7. Reduce up on yourself.
Decide ahead of time that you will never feel properly prepared. Set yourself totally free from the problem of perfectionism.
I suggest you not take a lot of research study assists into the classroom/pulpit with you. Do not take study books planning to check out large explanatory passages to your individuals. They want to hear you.
They wish to hear what God has actually taught you. So, fill your mind and heart with the subject and go in the Spirit of God, and offer it your best.
When the conference is over, leave it with the Daddy. You did fantastic in some things and perhaps improperly in others. You did your best. If you prepare to teach this once again in another church or with another group, go rapidly to your research study and make notes on what you learned, where you were weak, and what you wish to improve on.
Have fun. Smile. Love this. You are so privileged getting to do this. Make the most of it, friend.Photo courtesy: ©