Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Identify factors common to every teaching situation.
C Identify parts of a basic teaching plan.
C Summarize steps for planning a lesson.
C Plan a lesson.
A wise teacher makes learning a joy. (Proverbs 15:2) The Living Bible
You have studied the message Jesus taught. You have learned teaching methods, how to use teaching aids, audience analysis, and how to state objectives. You will use all these skills in this chapter as you plan a lesson.
THE TEACHING SITUATION
When you plan a lesson, remember that every teaching situation involves the following common factors:
The Father , Son, and Holy Spirit are the divine spiritual agents behind Biblical teaching. The Holy Spirit is the power which enables the teacher to teach and opens the
understanding of the student. (Review Chapter Two ).
The teacher is the one who knows the truth to be taught:
And He began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:34)
(Review Chapters One and Two, "A Teacher Come From God").
A student is a faithful man or woman who attends with interest to the lesson given. The student learns as he reacts to what he sees, hears, and understands:
…Spake He [Jesus] the word…as they were able to hear. (Mark 4:33)
The teacher must do more than teach Biblical facts. Facts alone are not meaningful. The student must understand and apply facts. In Matthew 13 in the parable of the sower, the seed which fell by the wayside was snatched away because the hearer did not understand (Matthew 13:19). Students must understand the meaning of what is taught in terms of
their own personal experience. (Review Chapter Eight).
The language used to teach must be understood by the student or else a translator must be
used. (Review Chapter Eight).
People learn best when the lesson is related to their environment. What they learn must be practical and apply to the problems they face in life. The message must minister to the needs created by their home, work , or ministry environments . (See Chapter Eight).
The lesson to be communicated is God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is the basic book of instruction . Other books and materials may be used, but God’s Word is the final
authority. (Review Chapters Three and Four).
Each lesson must relate to general and specific spiritual objectives. (Review Chapter
Every lesson is taught by using methods. (Review Chapters Five and Six ).
Here is an example of the factors of a common teaching situation using John 4:
Divine Agents: Jesus spoke the message of God the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Student: The woman at the well.
Language: Jesus spoke to her in a language she could understand.
Environment: The environment was Jacob’s well. Jesus used the environment to present the lesson.
Lesson: God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Jesus is the source of living water.
Objectives: To lead the woman to realize her real need was not for physical water but for the living water.
Methods: Jesus used a common object [water ] as a teaching aid to attract attention . He
used a common occasion [coming to draw water] as an opportunity to teach. Jesus used
contrasts between natural water and living water. He used conversation, questioning, and reference to tradition . He quoted from the Old Testament and used the present situation
to relate to the needs of the woman. He applied the lesson to her life and called for
You are now ready to plan a lesson. Follow these steps:
STEP ONE – Prepare Spiritually:
Prepare your heart:
The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. (Proverbs 16:1)
Prepare your mind:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
Pray that God will prepare the hearts of the students to receive the Word. Pray for yourself, that God will anoint and enable you to share His Word.
STEP TWO – Study The Lesson:
Read the Bible text for the lesson. Read surrounding passages that give the background
of the lesson. Meditate on the passage by slow, thoughtful repetition of reading. Study
everything the Bible says on the subject on which you will teach. If you have Bible
research materials such as a concordance, word study book , and commentaries, use these for further research :
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)
As you study, write down important points and special thoughts the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. You will use these notes to develop an outline of the lesson.
STEP THREE – Analyze The Audience:
Use the skills you learned in Chapter Eight of this course to analyze the audience you will teach.
STEP FOUR – Set Objectives:
Using the study notes you have made and keeping in mind your audience analysis, set objectives for the lesson. (Review Chapter Nine of this course, "Stating Objectives").
STEP FIVE – Outline The Basic Sections Of The Lesson:
There are four basic parts of a plan for teaching a Biblical lesson: The introduction, the body of the lesson, the application, and conclusion. An outline consists of brief written statements that summarize the important truths you want to present in each section of the lesson. An outline is a valuable teaching aid because it helps you stay on the subject as you teach. It also helps you remember important truths you need to teach students. Use the notes you took during your study to develop the teaching outline.
Here is the way to write an outline:
Title: Titles help people remember the subject. They also help the teacher be specific
about the purpose of the lesson. Select a title for the lesson that reflects the central truth. Ask yourself, "What am I talking about in this lesson?" Write the title at the beginning of
Introduction: The introduction is the beginning of the lesson. It is important that the introduction interest the student or he may not continue to listen .
Jesus did not have a standard introduction. He secured the attention of His listeners by
several methods. Sometimes He specifically called for it by saying "Verily, verily". When Jesus said "Verily, verily", it was the same as saying "Listen carefully…this is important!"
Jesus also gained attention by starting with a statement of interest to the person He was
addressing. For example, He opened the conversation with the woman at the well in John 4 by asking for a drink of water:
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (John 4:7)
She had come to the well to draw water, so He started at her point of interest. The introduction led to a discussion of the spiritual lesson on living water.
If the audience was interested in the law of Moses, then Jesus used this subject for an introduction. If they were concerned about the Kingdom promised to Israel, He would open with a statement on this subject. When you begin a lesson with a statement which interests your listeners, it attracts their attention so you can share the Gospel.
Jesus also used common objects, questions and answers, parables, case histories,
Scriptures, contrasts , and problems as introductions to secure attention. He used
occasions which were part of the common circumstances of life. He started with what people knew to teach the unknown and led them from general to specific teachings.
An introduction should be:
-Brief : If it is too long, interest may be lost.
-Appealing: It must attract interest of audience; focus on some need or concern. -Memorable: It should be such that listeners can easily remember it.
-Relevant: The introduction prepares for the truths you will teach; orients listeners to the main idea of the lesson.
Prepare an introduction that will gain the interest of your students . On your outline write out a summary of how you will introduce the lesson.
Body: The "body" of the lesson is the main content of the teaching. In the lesson Jesus taught the woman at the well, the body of His message focused on the living water. It revealed the source of living water, a contrast between living and natural water, the
response necessary to receive living water, and the results of drinking of that living water:
…Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink: thou wouldest have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water… (John 4:10)
-Contrast Between Living and Natural Water:
…Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give Him shall never thirst…
-The Response Necessary:
She must drink of the water from the spiritual source:
…Asked of Him and He would have given thee living water…Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give Him shall never thirst…
…Shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
Here is an easy way to organize the body of a lesson in an outline:
I. First main point.
A. Additional statement on the first main point.
B. Additional statement on the first main point.
C. Additional statement on the first main point.
II. Second main point.
(List statements about the second main point as you did for the first main point.)
Be sure the points are organized in a logical order which follows the Scripture text for the lesson . The main points should relate back to the main idea and the subpoints should relate to their main points . Make good transitions between points by relating each point to the previous one. Continue the outline until you have covered all the main points of the lesson. The number of points you have will vary from lesson to lesson.
Application: When you relate the truths of God’s Word to everyday life, it is called
"application" . You "apply" what you teach to real life situations. After a Biblical truth is taught, it must be applied to the life and ministry of the listener. It must answer this
question: "How does this truth affect me?"
In the example of Jesus and the woman at the well, He taught her about living water and then applied the lesson. He told her that this living water could be in her and change her life . He showed her how she could worship the real God in spirit and truth.
Application can be made using any of the teaching methods you learned in Chapters Five and Six. Asking and answering questions is an excellent way to apply truths you have taught. Let the students make applications themselves also.
Applications should be drawn from real life experiences which illustrate the lesson . You can find such illustrations in the Bible, history, biographies of famous people, parables, hymns, by reading books, and through personal observation and experience. People learn best in the context of doing. Students must do if they are to learn:
If ye know these things, happy are you if ye do them. (John 13:17) (Review James 5 also).
"Doing" is application. The application of the lesson can include projects and activities to help students apply truths they have learned. In the teaching outline, write out how you will apply the truths you have taught. Include the methods and activities you will use.
Conclusion: The conclusion ends the lesson. The conclusion of the lesson should include a summary of the main points taught in the body of the lesson. A summary does not have to be a boring rehearsal of facts. You can use any of the methods you learned in Chapters Five and Six to review the lesson. You can include an illustration or quotation, ask
questions or give specific direction. Review is important. Jesus often repeated spiritual truths. Use as much repetition as necessary to assure that students understand the lesson .
The conclusion should also include an opportunity for response from the student. When Jesus concluded lessons, He always called for response. At the well, Jesus told the
Samaritan woman, "Go call thy husband." This call for response resulted in her
confession of sin. It is not enough to just hear the Word. It is not enough just to know how it applies to our lives. We must respond to what we have learned.
Response is possible only when the truth relates to us. This is why the application part of the lesson is important. We must understand how a message applies to us in order to respond to it. Revelation requires response . Even the fact that God has revealed Himself in the beauties of nature requires response from man:
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them.
For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
Examples of responses to a lesson are accepting Jesus as Savior, coming for prayer to
receive healing or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, confession of a sin , and commitment to Christian service. A call for response must not be based on emotional appeal. Jesus
made it clear that to respond to the Gospel would be costly (see Mark 8:34-3 5).
Decide how you will check to see if the objectives you set are accomplished. Will you test the students ? Will you have them do a project or activity using what they learned? Write out a summary of how you will conclude the lesson . Remember to include a call for response . How do you want students to respond to the lesson you have taught?
STEP SIX – Select Methods And Aids:
Select the methods you will use to teach the lesson. Here is a list of the methods you have studied from which to choose:
-Known to unknown
-General to specific
-Object lessons/visual demonstration
-Questions and answers/discussion
-Case histories [illustrating what you are teaching] -Use of Scripture
Be sure the methods you select are appropriate to the audience and to the lesson. Plan teaching aids to use with the lesson and activities which include student participation.
STEP SEVEN – Organize Materials:
Organize the materials you need to teach the lesson. This will include your teaching
outline , Bible , written materials for students, teaching aids , and any supplies you need for the activities you have planned.