Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh my!

Step 3 of the lesson, “What is your goal in life?” informs believers regarding God’s will for sexual purity (confining sex to marriage of a man and woman). Is this a problem for our class members today? If you believe the statistics, it is. Given the Bible’s clear teaching on this matter, why do you think it is still prevalent in the church? Ignorance of the Word? No fear of the Lord? Lack of spiritual growth? Some members are unbelievers? Impulsive behavior?

Have an honest discussion about this issue in your class, and ask members to help add to the suggestions above. Understanding “why” might lead particular individuals to come to grips with personal sin. Perhaps you should lead the class in praying thru 1 John 1:9.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Forgetting facilitates growth

Step 2 in the lesson, “What is your goal in life?” emphasizes the principle of how believers should live, but it also highlights that a growth process is at work—“do so even more”.

Call this phrase to the attention of class members and then ask, “What does it mean that adult Christians are to ‘do so even more’?” Pause and allow members to answer.

The pause may seem a bit awkward, but asking a question like this forces class members to think beyond simple factual recall. Afterward you can bring out an illustration by reading Philippians 3:12-16. Forgetting facilitates growth. How so?

If you have time, the LifeWay ETB Adult Leader Guide asks the discussion question: “Do Christians have the right to live as we want, since we cannot lose our salvation? Why?” (p. 62). What Bible verses would you cite to support your thinking?

We can discuss answers to these questions here if you post a comment.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What is your goal in life? 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Joy Ross’s commentary on this week’s lesson from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, “What is your goal in life?” shares her husband’s goal to bring her a brass tea service from Southeast Asia.

To get members thinking about how they approach establishing a life goal, consider introducing the lesson with brief statements illustrating various philosophies of life. Identify the author’s implied goal in life based on their philosophical quote. Goals may include “just trying to live,” “live it up,” or “seeking what’s in it for me”.

What is your philosophy of life? What goal does it translate to?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When others cared for you, 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

The lesson, “When others cared for you,” is based on 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13. This passage reveals the reality of spiritual warfare (see 2:18 and 3:5). Mark Rathel’s lesson commentary makes a point of Paul’s example of discipleship. He notes Satan’s number one strategy is to take advantage of our “busyness”.

Holding a discussion on busyness is one way to introduce the lesson. Certainly all of us have used the “too busy” excuse to care for others at one time or another.

Perhaps a way to start the lesson is to talk about our “list of things to get done.” What fails to make your list?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To the point

A lesson plan "For Christmas" from Dr. Lucien Coleman was posted on the Riverland Hills Baptist Church site. It's brief, and offers a pointed message. He uses the traditional "nativity scene" as an ice-breaker.

What are your picks for the top 10 Christmas specials that have been broadcast on TV? You could show the list to your class to see if anyone remembers what made them special?

The lesson covers Mary's Song, so you might want to discuss the top 10 Christmas songs (one of many such lists) instead.

If you have a last minute question about the lesson, post a comment. I'll reply, and perhaps others, too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For Christmas, Luke 1:26-56

Remember, as teachers, we want our Bible lessons to be clear, relevant, interesting, and biblically based.

As an aid toward one of these ends consider building your lesson “For Christmas“ around a video. As an example, I like the Jesus and Santa video. It should help make the message of your lesson clear. The video, What is the Christmas Story should help make the message clear, relevant and interesting. A Christmas Response is based on Luke 1:31, and fits the LifeWay lesson plan, but it could help your lesson be more relevant and interesting.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Last minute help!

A few last minute links for help in teaching 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16:

* Jeff Meyers lesson plan: “When Others Helped You

* Houston’s Second Baptist lesson plan: “Pattern for Persuasion,” by Wallace Henley

* Riverland Hills Baptist Church lesson plan: “WHEN OTHERS HELPED YOU,” by Brian L. Harbour (see p. 2)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Resume lying

Paul was in Corinth when he pinned 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16, the background passage for this week’s lesson, “When Others Helped You”. Had the Thessalonians been “taken for a ride?” Was Paul deceiving them?

Scan 2 Corinthians 10-13, paying attention to the context of 10:7, 10:12, 11:5-6, 12:1, 12:11, 13:3, and 13:5. Notice that Paul is defending himself to the Corinthians. Had he “sold them a bill of goods?” Had he misrepresented himself?

Resume lying is a common practice today. According this article, it’s as high as 50%. To help learners understand the context of 1 Thessalonians, bring up the topic of misrepresenting oneself, and the negative results of lying on a resume.

Monday, December 08, 2008

When Others Helped You, 1 Thess 2:1-16

The first thought I had about teaching this week’s lesson, When Others Helped You, is the great opportunity it presents to recruit a co-teacher from your class. But how difficult is it to find a suitable, qualified Bible teacher?

To get started, briefly outline teacher qualifications and show a list of names of Best Bible Teachers in America (or make up your own list). Ask your class members to select their favorite. This is an alternative to asking members to recall their favorite teacher in school.

Note: over a 100 people downloaded the slides from yesterday’s lesson!

Friday, December 05, 2008

PPT slides for "When You Started Out", 1Thessalonians 1:1-10

Two things:

1. I added the Google Followers gadet to this blog (see right side of page). Please sign up as a Follower. I promise, you will not be spammed! :-)

2. I posted my PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "When You Started Out." The slide notes contain a link to Jeff Meyer's lesson, which I referenced.

May God bless your lesson this week!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thank God and commend others

In preparing to teach, “When you started out”, I thought of previous members of my class that have moved on to serve in other places. I thank God for enabling their service when we were together. If you’ll suggest a few names, my guess is that your class members can name others, too. Take a moment and pray for the previous members named, and do thank God for them!

If you have time, pass out a few thank you cards to members who volunteer to write a note to the former class members.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

God chooses. We believe.

Do you plan to address the doctrine of election, as does Roger Freeman in his comments on the lesson, “When you started out?”

Dan Wallace says it’s analogous to that of inspiration (see 11). Please also read David Self’s comments (section “Genuine faith”).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Remember when...

To me, Paul wanted to encourage the church at Thessalonica, so he wrote them a letter reminding them of their salvation. As you teach the lesson, “When You Started Out,” make the point of how important it is to encourage others. Then show this picture.

Ask members to say what they think the player on the left is saying to encourage the player on the right (presumably a pitcher). Listen for use of the word “remember”, and if no one uses it, then offer your own version by saying something like, “Hey! Remember when you struck out this same guy in the title game last year? You can do it again! Throw some heat up there. I know you can do it!”. Stirring the memory of their salvation is what Paul did to encourage the Thessalonians.

Monday, December 01, 2008

When You Started Out, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

"When You Started Out" is the title of our lesson this week. It’s taken from 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. In addition to your typical reading, I encourage you to read the NetBible translation of 1 Thessalonians because of the translator notes it provides. For example, the translator notes (see the bottom of the page) for verse 1 explains the somewhat blunt greeting in verse 1. The note for verse 3 mentions “Christian virtues in action,” which is helpful. Note 16 points out why verse 8 was translated “message of the Lord” instead of “word from the Lord.” The NetBible site also provides an audio version of the text, and a handy “Discovery Box” that has topical links for “Background and History” and “Names, People and Places”. Included also are links to a “Study Dictionary”, maps, and “Sermon Illustrations.”

This lesson will be taught on Dec 7th, the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which was a world changing event. Because of “Who you are in Christ,” are you “turning the world upside down?”