Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anatomy of a Grave Decision, 1 Kings 12:1-16:28 (2 Chron. 10:1-16:14)

Gary Payne posted his slides for this Sunday's Lifeway lesson, "Anatomy of a Grave Decision," based on 1 Kings 12:3-8,16-18,22-24.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where compromise takes you, 1 Kings 9:10-11:43; 2 Chronicles 8:1-9:31

Gary Payne posted his slides for this Sunday's lesson, "Where compromise takes you," based on 1 Kings 9:10-11:43; 2 Chronicles 8:1-9:31.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Worship the King of Kings, Matthew 1:18-2:11

Gary Payne posted his slides for this Sunday's lesson, "Worship the King of Kings," based on Matthew 1:18-2:11.

Co-teacher Randy Stewart also posted his slides.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Why Prayer Deserves Priority, I Kings 5:1-9:9; II Chronicles 2:1-7:22

Gary Payne posted his slides for the lesson titled, "Why Prayer Deserves Priority," based on I Kings 5:1-9:9; II Chronicles 2:1-7:22.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Money Can't Buy, 1 Kings 1:1-4:34; 2 Chronicles 1:1-13

Gary Payne has already posted his slides for the lesson titled, "What Money Can't Buy" based on 1 Kings 1:1-4:34; 2 Chronicles 1:1-13. Co-teacher Randy Stewart also posted his slides.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

PPT slides for "Being Prepared," Ephesians 6:10-24

I posted my slides for the lesson titled, "Being Prepared," based on Ephesians 6:10-24. I added a few notes and be sure to view the slides in "Slide Show" mode.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Being Prepared, Ephesians 6:10-24

Gary Payne also posted his slides for the lesson, "Being Prepared," based on Ephesians 6:10-24.

I'm still working on my slides but I thought you might like to see the notes I used to teach a Lifeway, Explore the Bible lesson from the same passage back in May, 2002. I'll try to get my slides posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Prepared, Ephesians 6:10-24

I'm preparing to teach, "Being Prepared," based on Ephesians 6:10-24. To be skillful in living as a Christian, we have to remember to use the spiritual armor God has provided. All too often we get into battle and forget to use the resources God had made available to us.

To add a little humor, I thought about including a slide containing the following examples of where someone forgot something. I included the links to the stories, but I'm not sure they are important other than to note that these incidences are real.

1. I sent a letter but forgot to put a STAMP on it?

2. I am pregnant and was told to take iron tablets but forgot!!

3. Woman rescued dogs from fire but forgot her grandson

4. I got her number, but forgot her name, how do I proceed?

5. Man attempts drive-by shooting, but forgets to roll down car window

To get your class talking, you might want to ask the class to share an incident where they forgot something. Tie the discussion to the lesson by telling members how important it is for believers not to forget to use the spiritual armor God has provided.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Being Respectful, Ephesians 6:1-9

Gary Payne posted his slides for the lesson titled, "Being Respectful," based on Ephesians 6:1-9.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Being Married, Ephesians 5:22-33

I posted my slides for the lesson titled, "Being Married," based on Ephesians 5:22-33. I added slide notes, so be sure and read them. Moreover, be sure and go thru the slides in "Slide Show" mode, otherwise, you will miss some of the material. If you have any comments on how to improve the slides, or the lesson presentation, please let me know. Thanks!

Gary Payne also posted his slides.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Being Careful, Ephesians 5:15-21

Gary Payne posted his slides for the lesson titled, "Being Careful," based on Ephesians 5:5-21. Randy Stewart also posted his slides.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Being Pure, Ephesians 5:1-14

Gary Payne has posted his PowerPoint slides for, "Being Pure," based on Ephesians 5:1-14.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Being Different, Ephesians 4:17-32

Gary Payne has posted his PowerPoint slides for, "Being Different," based on Ephesians 4:17-32. So did Randy Stewart.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Being In Step, Ephesians 4:1-16

Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for Being in Step based on Ephesians 4:1-16.

Friday, October 08, 2010

God's Power Strengthens, Ephesians 3:14-21

Gary Payne posted his slides for God's Power Strengthens based on Ephesians 3:14-21.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Power Changes Relationships, Ephesians 2:11-22

Gary Payne has posted his PowerPoint slides for, "God's Power Changes Relationships," based on Ephesians 2:11-22.

Does your church have a ministry to Hispanics? For example, long ago, the church I attend started a mission to reach Hispanics. We actually met in the same facilities, but in different buildings. E.g. The Hispanic mission worshiped in a smaller chapel building while the church congregation met in a larger worship center.

After growing over a couple of decades, the church recently voted to make the mission just part of the church (i.e it is no longer a mission). Now, however, we have one church but two separate sets of believers meeting in separate buildings in the same facility.

The cultures of the two groups are very different--music, art, dress, etc., and the language barrier is substantial. It precludes joint socials, for example.

Paul dealt with the issue of Jews and Gentiles in the same congregation and it seems my church is dealing with a culturally divided congregation, too. Don't get me wrong, everyone is congenial, but there is a divide.

Do you have a similar issue in your church?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lesson Handout for "God's Power Changes People", Ephesians 2:1-10

I uploaded my notes for teaching "God's Power Changes People," the Lifeway lesson based on Ephesians 2:1-10. If you delete the highlighted notes, and substitute "underlines" for the underlined words, you can easily make a handout to use in teaching the lesson. Some main points are numbered and in bold font. Change these if you don't like my selections. I decided not to use any PowerPoint slides with this lesson.

May you experience the blessing of being alive in Christ as a result of teaching God's Word tomorrow, an opportunity prepared in advance for you by God's grace to bring glory to Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

PPT slides for, "God's Power Changes People," Ephesians 2:1-10

Gary Payne posted his slides for "God's Power Changes People." I'll post my lesson handout, notes, and slides tomorrow.

Don't forget to consider Jeff Meyer's plan, which has a set of questions that can be used to get the class talking.

If you like questions, First Chester, Illinois posted their question-based plan.

If you have time at least see the opening of Wallace Henry's lesson plan.

It is clear from Ephesians 2:8-10 that God prepares opportunities for believers to do good works. However, Christians need to be ready and willing to make the most of the opportunities when they come. An opportunity to do a good work can be missed.

To get at this point I’ll insert the following statement in my handout:

3. True or False: An opportunity for a good work missed is an opportunity lost.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Incomparable riches of grace

To prepare to teach Ephesians 2:4-7 in the lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” I am trying to select a key truth to use as the second main point on my lesson handout. Certainly it’s important to highlight “it is by grace you have been saved,” but we will visit that again in verse 8.

Another choice is to highlight being made alive, raised with Christ and seated with Him. That will be part of the discussion.

A key take away members may gloss over is:

2. True or False: Raising Christ demonstrated God’s incomparable power just as Christians will demonstrate God’s incomparable riches of grace.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He's so dead...

To prepare a mixed-mode presentation (as I suggested in previous posts) first requires development of the title, the four truth points you want to make, and the key thought to end the lesson. Each of these has from 3 to 5 talking points you want to make as you teach, and finally, a few PowerPoint slides are needed to help illustrate key ideas.

To get started on this week’s lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” I’ll just start with the Lifeway division of verses Ephesians 2:1-3, 4-7 and 8-10. Let’s do the title after working thru the main points, but I’m thinking of something like, “Sleeping with the fishes” vs. “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die”.

Reading Eph 2:1-3, a key truth we might use as our first main point is:
1. Your view of your depravity completely controls your view of your salvation.

 Can you suggest an alternate?  How about this one:
1. True or False: A lost person is the same as a dead person.

Monday, September 13, 2010

God’s Power Changes People, Ephesians 2:1-10

Yesterday, my goal was to get the class to interact with the Scriptures (too much PowerPoint results in members passively watching slides). Based on walk-up comments and emails I received afterward, I think the goal was accomplished.

Example: One visitor worked on her knitting at the start of class. When I asked the class for an answer to one of the questions I posed, she rattled off some “Christianese” about praying and the will of God without reading the text. I replied with another question, “What does the Bible verse say?” At that point she put aside her knitting and picked up her Bible.  Yeah!

I liked the mixed mode presentation used yesterday (handout with questions plus a small amount of PowerPoint).

I plan to do something similar this coming Sunday to teach the lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” based on Ephesians 2:1-10. If you have thoughts about whether to “PowerPoint or not,” make a comment.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lesson Handout for "God's Plan Involves Power," Ephesians 1:15-23

In my post last week on the lesson, “God’s Plan is Eternal,” I described a one-page handout I used to teach a special lesson. I plan to teach this Sunday’s lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power” using a similar one-page handout (I completed the blanks in the number points and updated this document on Saturday evening).

I may use some PowerPoint slides to show a picture, or two and perhaps a video, but my main goal is to get class members focused on reading the Scriptures and thinking about what each verse says. To be clear, I’ll also use a list of “talking points” for each verse as the class uses the handout, and as each numbered point on the handout comes up, I’ll give the words that go in the blanks and ask class members to answer the true or false statement. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

PPT slides for, "God's Plan Involves Power," Eph 1:15-23

I appreciate Gary Payne posting his slides for the lesson Sunday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

True or False

If you are preparing to teach Sunday's lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power,” read Eph 1:20-23 and then try your hand at marking the following statements as True or False.

1. At God’s right hand is a chair and Jesus presence in heaven is best thought of as Him sitting in that chair.

2. Heaven is the same place as what we now call “outer space.”

3. Jesus is eternally superior to any angelic power hierarchy.

4. Man’s “greatest title” bestowed now or in eternity is inferior to that already belonging to Jesus, the Christ.

5. The church is not an institution but an organism.

6. The body of believers, the church, is filled with Christ.

7. Christ Jesus is the appointed head over all church buildings.

Thanks to Jeff Meyer’s commentary for inspiring these questions (but I take blame for any misinterpretation they may contain).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Incomparable Power

Proverbs 4:23 defines the heart as the wellspring of life. Our deepest desires spring from the heart and motivate our actions. Beginning in Eph 1:18, Paul prays for a believer’s heart to desire the blessings of comprehending eternal glory with Christ, to grasp the richness of an inheritance in Christ and to know the incredible transformative power of God that moved them from death to life.

As part of teaching the Lifeway lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power”, I’m considering reading John 11:1-43, or showing a video of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (See this example. It is long, but worth it. However, if you know of another example please let me know).

Monday, September 06, 2010

God’s Plan Involves Power, Ephesians 1:15-23

They’ve got spirit!

You might say the girls in this picture have spirit. What do we mean by “spirit”? If we saw these girls on game night they would surely exhibit “spirit.” On game day in the hallways they would show their enthusiasm, excitement, and energy for their school. Their emotions and expressions convey their spirit. They want their team to win.

In Eph 1:17, Paul prays for God to give believers a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Every day is game day for a believer, but what spirit do you wake up with concerning God? Paul wants believers to personalize their relationship with God. A winning day for a Christian is to grow in intimacy with the Lord. Your face will surely show it.

This week we are studying Ephesians 1:15-23 in a LifeWay, Explore the Bible lesson titled, “God’s Plan Involves Power”.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

God’s Plan is Eternal, Ephesians 1:1-14

Once again, Gary Payne comes through by posting his PPT slides for the lesson, "God's Plan is Eternal," from Ephesians 1:1-14.

Anyone else publishing slides on this lesson that you want to post here?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God’s plan is Eternal, Ephesians 1:1-14

This summer I was able to hear two pastors teach the Bible from the pulpit and also listen to a former pastor teach a Bible study. I was impressed by not only their message, but also by how they taught. All three were easy going, confident and serious about the passages they taught.

I taught last Sunday in my class, but I did not use PowerPoint as a presentation tool. Sometimes I think the slides get between me and the people I want to reach. Their focus is on the slides and not on what I am saying.

Last Sunday, I used a one-page handout formatted with a title and four numbered sections followed by a line containing a key thought (or summarizing truth). Each section had a one-line statement designed to generate interaction and the Scriptures pertaining to it. The statement included one and sometimes two blanks in the sentence that class members could fill in as I talked, or as they figured out what words best filled the blanks.

I passed the handout (with blanks inserted) to class members before class and they filled on the page as I taught. It was refreshing to me to get away from the rut for awhile. It allowed me to see the crutch PowerPoint had become. I’m sure I will use it again in the future, but hopefully, the slides will be supportive rather than an in-class reading assignment.

Consider what presentation tool best complements you this week as you prepare to teach, “God’s plan is Eternal,” from Ephesians 1:1-14.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Relationships: The Improvement Factor, 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:13

I'm back off my summer travels, but this Sunday I am teaching a special lesson from 1 Peter, so I won't post on the ETB lesson, "Relationships: The Improvement Factor," based on 2 Corinthians 10:1-3, 15-18; 12:14-21.

However, Mr. Faithful, Gary Payne, did post his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "Relationships: The Improvement Factor." Aren't we thankful for Gary!?!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Relationships: The Long Distance Factor, 2 Corinthians 7:5-9:15

Due to lack of Internet access, Gary Payne was not able until today to post his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, Relationships: The Long Distance Factor, based on 2 Corinthians 7:5-9:15. Sorry about that!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Relationships: The Reconciliation Factor, 2 Corinthians 5:11–7:4

Gary Payne published his PPT slides for the lesson, "Relationships: The Reconciliation Factor," based on 2 Corinthians 5:11–7:4. I appreciate Gary's faithfulness!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Relationships: The Faithfulness Factor, 2 Corinthians 3:1-6; 4:1-5, 15-18; 5:8-10

I call your attention to Jeff Meyer's lesson plan for "Relationships: The Faithfulness Factor," based on 2 Corinthians 3:1-5:10. His comments and thoughtful questions can be easily converted into PowerPoint slides if that is the format you prefer. Keep your audience in mind as you construct your slides and try not to use long textual blocks as your bullet points. Class members generally will not read dense text on a slide.

Gary Payne also posted his PowerPoint slides for this lesson.

Remember to look at the question based lesson plan offered by First Baptist, Chester, IL. It requires the least amount of preparation for a discussion leader.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Relationships: The Integrity Factor, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:17

I so appreciate Gary Payne providing PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "Relationships: The Integrity Factor," based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-12; 2;14-17.  Thanks Gary!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can I Believe in the Resurrection?, 1 Corinthians 15:1-16:24

Sure enough Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "Can I Believe in the Resurrection?", with the focal verses: 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, 12-18, 50-52, 54b-57.

Co-teacher Randy Stewart also posted his slides.

What a great lesson. May the good Lord bless all Bible teachers preparing to teach this lesson!

Friday, July 16, 2010

How Can I Express Love?, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Sorry, I did not post Gary Payne's slides earlier this week, but I'm traveling this summer and it slipped my mind. I appreciate Gary's faithfulness to share his preparation for this week's lesson, "How Can I Express Love?", based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

Friday, July 09, 2010

What Spiritual Gifts Can I Use? 1 Corinthians 12:1-14:40

In spite of an especially busy week, Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "What Spiritual Gifts Can I Use?" based on 1 Corinthians  12:4-13, 18-19, 27-31; 14:1, 39-40.

Blessings to Randy Stewart, who also posted his slides for "What Spiritual Gifts Can I Use?" (also includes slides for last week's lesson since Bible Study classes in our Church did not meet last week).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Can I Do?, 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:34

In our travels this summer, I am visiting other Explore the Bible classes to hear and learn from other Bible teachers. This past Sunday, the teacher covered 1 Cor 7 as an expository preacher might present it from a pulpit. Class members wanted to participate, but there was never an opportunity. As a visitor I didn't say anything and I don't know if the teacher was seminary trained or not.

A teacher friend of mine doesn't like class members making comments during a lesson. His belief is they are unprepared and their comments turn into the blind leading the blind. I have trouble with this since learning, I believe, comes from hearing, seeing and participating. Seems like there is an appropriate balance, but maybe not. If you can deliver spellbinding lectures that transform lives then by all means continue doing it.

Gary Payne faithfully posted his slides for this week's lesson, "What Can I Do?" from 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:34.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

PPT slides for, "What should I do?" 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for this week's lesson.

Co-teacher Randy Stewart also posted his slides for "What should I do?"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Should I Do?, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Yesterday, I thought of this week's lesson, "What Should I Do?" from 1 Cor. 7:10-16, 32-39, while watching the show NOAH at the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson, MO. The story (somewhat fictionalized) portrayed a frustrated Noah and his family inside the Ark. Noah prayed and asked God what to do.

Driving up to Branson, where we were to meet up with another couple, I asked my wife about our plans (which she had arranged). The other couple knew Branson well and I listened as my wife related what the couple had said what we should do, where to go, when to be there, etc. I did not know what to do before our conversation. Afterward, I was confident and did exactly as instructed. Everything worked out great!

Tell your class about a time when you did not know what to do, what you did, and the resulting outcome. Help them offer an example from their own lives.

What should do to prepare for this lesson? I recommend First Baptist, Houston, David Self's outline.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Four Reasons to Practice Christian Morality, 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:20

While traveling the past two weeks, I've attended two different Bible study classes in Baptist churches, one using the Lifeway material, the other not. Both had very good teachers, but I have to say that the better Bible study was the one that used the Lifeway material. That teacher interestingly never mentioned Lifeway's lesson ideas as he taught. He simply taught his own plan as applied in that particular church's situation (getting a new pastor).

As teachers, how to make the lesson plan "our own" is a challenge we face each week. It helps to read other lesson plans taken from the same Bible passage.

Gary Payne posted a link to his PowerPoint slides for "Four Reasons to Practice Christian Morality".

James Patterson, Second Baptist, Houston, posted a link to his lesson plan from 1 Cor 5:1-6:20, which he titled, "Free from Sexual Immorality."

Lastly, I never hesitate to suggest reading Jeff Meyer's plan.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

PPT slides for, "Three Ideas for Encouraging Church Leaders," 1 Corinthians 4:1-21

Co-teacher Randy Stewart posted his PowerPoint slides for this week's lesson, Three Ideas for Encouraging Church Leaders, based on 1 Corinthians 4:1-21. It's great to have Randy back in the saddle!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Three Ideas for Encouraging Church Leaders, 1 Corinthians 4:1-21

Mark Rathel's commentary on the lesson, "Three Ideas for Encouraging Church Leaders," based on 1 Corinthians 4:1-21, describes Paul as the founding pastor of the Corinthian Church. Although it is not part of the lesson, I think from a Bible study perspective, it is an excellent time to remind class members that Paul was not a pastor. To be clear, he was an apostle and an evangelist, but he was never described as an elder (as Peter was). Whenever he established a church, Paul appointed elders to be leaders of the local church. These men were the "pastors" of the local church.

Gary Payne posted a good set of PowerPoint slides for the lesson, which I recommend.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Four Ways to Promote Church Unity, 1 Cor. 1:10, 21-31; 3:9-10, 16-17

Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for this week's lesson, "Four Ways to Promote Church Unity", based on 1 Cor. 1:10, 21-31; 3:9-10, 16-17. Gary always has good background pictures for his slides.

Jeff Meyer also posted his lesson commentary, which I always enjoy reading. His questions at the end are especially appropriate.

Lifeway had a lesson on church unity, "Consider Others" from Romans 14 that I blogged about in January, 2006 (follow the "newer posts" link at the bottom of that page to see subsequent blog entries for that lesson). I published PowerPoint slides for that lesson that you may want to review.

Friday, May 28, 2010

PPT slides for, "Show Others Godly Grace," Leviticus 23:1-27:34

As I mentioned in the previous post, my PowerPoint slides this week are different in style and content this week from what I traditionally use (we are meeting in a new classroom).

For example, I normally use pictures, but none are in these slides. I typically include the focal passages on the slides, but not in these. Lastly, I usually include "transition slides" for introductory purposes and  to help move between lesson steps, but not in these.

Essentially, I prepared to teach with minimal slide support (if any) since I may find that the relatively small HD monitors are a learning impediment in a large room.

Nevertheless, I recommend the slides to you since they contain a summary of the Hebrew Feasts from a Christian perspective as well as provide some basic structure to a lesson based on Leviticus 23:1-27:34. Be sure and look at the slide notes since some contain helpful tips.

God bless!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Show Others Godly Grace, Leviticus 25:8-22, 35-38

I'm teaching this week in a new classroom. The old room had a large projection screen, but the new one has two HD monitors that serve each side of a wide space. PowerPoint font's can't be any smaller than 24 points, and black-on-white text is best for reading. I say all this since it will impact my slides.

Gary Payne posted his slides for "Show Others Godly Grace," from Leviticus 25:8-22, 35-38. I like Gary's reference to the inscription from Leviticus on the Liberty Bell.

Jeff Meyer posted his plan, too. His suggested opening (using the number 50) is very appealing.

Since Monday is Memorial Day, another possible opening for the lesson is to mention Memorial Day and what it means, but then ask members to name other special days they celebrate. Make a list of these and note their meaning. I'll lead with one of these suggestions then jump next into Leviticus 23 with a slide summarizing the feast days prescribed by God.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PPT slides for "Stay Away from Perverted Practices," Lev 17:1-22:33

I'm not teaching this week, but Gary Payne graciously posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "Stay Away from Perverted Practices," based on Leviticus 17:1-22:3.

I encourage you to also consider the lesson plan posted by Jeff Meyer. His opening about naming things people avoid is creative.

Lastly, Scott Susong posted his lesson plan that includes a warning to teachers not to be overly graphic in dealing with some of the material.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PPT slides for "Do Right When You Do Wrong", Lev 1-16

Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "Do Right When You Do Wrong," from Leviticus 1-16.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do Right When You Do Wrong, Leviticus 1:1-16:34

I spoke to co-teacher Curt about reading Leviticus in preparation for teaching this week's lesson, "Do Right When You Do Wrong." A strategy he is personally using is to "name" each chapter as he reads it. Giving it a name forces him to summarize the chapter to its basic meaning.

Perhaps a way to start the class is to have your class members each take a chapter, read it, and name it. Have them write their suggested name on a marker board. After they are finished, compare their names with the ones you created and discuss the differences in the suggested names. [Note: if you have less than 16 class members, just do that number of chapters. If you have more than 16, then each chapter to multiple people.]

I like this idea because it leverages your own reading of the background passage and it has class members reading the Word for themselves (even if it is only one chapter).

Friday, May 07, 2010

PPT slides for "How do you contribute?", Exodus 35:1-40:38

Many members in your class probably have personal ministries they offer in service to the Lord. Consider using this lesson on "How do you contribute?" as an opportunity for each person to briefly discuss their ministry with the class. It might be an opportunity for those who are not involved in personal ministry to make a commitment to serve in some way.

I've posted my PowerPoint slides for the lesson. I relied heavily on commentaries from Jeff Meyer, David Self, and Sam Tullock (see links in the notes sections of the slides).

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I like the opening Jeff Meyer suggests in his comments on the lesson, "How do you contribute?".

Also, Dr. Sam Tullock gives an excellent outline of the large background passage Exodus 35:1-40:38, which I find very helpful.

Lastly, I want you to be aware of Gary Payne's PowerPoint slides for the lesson.

I hope to get mine posted tomorrow or early Saturday.

Monday, May 03, 2010

How do you contribute?, Exodus 35-40

Yesterday's lesson went much better the second time I taught it. Why? First time was as a guest teacher in another class, and the slides about Peter were distracting. Sometimes as a teacher, I get too clever. I need to remind myself to not only keep the lesson biblically based, but to also to be interesting, relevant, and clear. Sometimes the effort to make it interesting undermines the the goal to make it clear. I'm sure I am not alone in doing this!

This week we wrap up the lesson series on Exodus with one called, "How do you contribute?" based on chapters 35 through 40. The link points to commentary by David Self of First Baptist, Houston. I recommend it because you can always count on David to generate a well thought out commentary. I used it at the last minute yesterday to summarize chapter 33, for example.

To create interest Sunday, I'm considering starting the lesson with an animation about the tabernacle. I might do a demo from iLumina since I own the software. As an alternative, I might use one of a number of videos about the tabernacle that can be found on Youtube. For lack of time, I  haven't picked one in particular to recommend. The first minute of this one might do for our lesson, but the source troubles me.

Friday, April 30, 2010

PPT slides for "What if you falter?", Exodus 32:1-34:35

I posted my PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "What if you falter?" in hopes that they will help some of you better prepare for teaching this coming Sunday.

May you live in such a way as to experience the blessing of the fullness of relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Turn from wrong thinking to right thinking

To teach the lesson, "What if you falter?", I'm using the idea of "What were they thinking?". First, I'll use it in the intro to grab attention and create a little humor. Next, I'll apply it to the Israelites when they gathered around Aaron to request that he make an image of God in the form of a golden calf.

From there, I'll use it to discuss Peter, and use it to discuss Moses based on Exodus 32:32.

Lastly, I want members to apply it to themselves. To help prepare for this I found an excellent resource on Wrong Thinking from West Side Community Church. I can use these ideas to prepare a conclusion and a call to action (1 John 1:9).

Now I need to turn these ideas into a tidy set of PPT slides!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What was Peter thinking?

I'm considering using the "what were they thinking" thread throughout the presentation of the lesson, "What if you falter?".

For example, as part of step 2, titled, "How We Falter," read Matt 26:31-35, and discuss the question "How did Peter falter?" (see slide).

You may want to use Adam and Eve as an illustration. What other Bible examples might be used?

Monday, April 26, 2010

What if you falter?, Exodus 32:1-34:35

The lesson, "What If You Falter?" from Exodus 32:1-34:35, illustrates how wrong thinking results in sin. Israel tried to worship the Lord using a golden calf. God had given the Israelites the tabernacle elements and nothing in those included a representation of God Himself. The making of an idol was specifically prohibited.

Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson already, but I'm still working on mine.

The Israelites attempted to worship the Lord using an idol which immediately led to further sin (see Exodus 32:5-6). Since they had just agreed to God's Law, this made me wonder, "What were they thinking?"

I will use this idea to open my lesson with a slide with quotes like the following:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Do You Worship?

Gary Payne is an Adult Flock Leader in Edmond, Oklahoma. This is his powerpoint lesson for April 25, taken from the Lifeway Explore the Bible Series lesson from Exodus 25 to 31. It is best viewed in slideshow:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do you worship?, Exodus 25:1-31:18

I thought of an interesting way to open the lesson, "Why do you worship?", which is based on Exodus 25:1-31:18.

The nut of the lesson is that God wants believers to worship him in meaningful ways. He didn't just leave Israelite worship practices up for grab. There was meaning in the tabernacle construction and ordinances.

To help members focus on the idea of "make meaningful", introduce the lesson by having them unscramble the following sentences:

1. present Regular is among us worship God shows:
2. During Lord helps the His us instructions worship understand:
3. regular Lord offerings Giving the pleases:

Here are the answers (which correspond to the lesson conclusions):

1. Regular worship shows God is present among us
2. During worship the Lord helps us understand His instructions
3. Giving regular offerings pleases the Lord

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PPT slides for "What are your ground rules?" Exodus 19:1-24:18

Here is a link to my PowerPoint slides for "What are your ground rules?" based on Exodus 19:1-24:18. They are not my best effort, but what I have in mind is that it would be wise to walk through and teach each commandment (see Jeff Meyer's comments). Also, remember to check the slide notes.

Also, Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "What are your ground rules?" It is best viewed in slide show mode.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Worship the Lord

One benefit of having a blog about Bible lessons is it becomes a search-able resource. For example, Step 2 of this week's lesson, "What are your ground rules?" is titled, "Worship the Lord." By searching this blog, I found a post for Step 2 of a prior lesson, "Worship No Other" discussing the preventative effect of worshiping only the Living Lord.

My old post suggested using magazines as a resource. Instead you might consider using the list of Unreal Gods from J.B. Phillip's book, which was suggested by Mark Rathel's commentary on the lesson.

Another point to consider in teaching this step is to include a list of the Egyptian false gods. Co-teacher Randy Stewart provided a list of false gods in his discussion of the plagues on Egypt (see slides 17-20).

Monday, April 12, 2010

What are your ground rules? Exodus 19:1-24:18

As I started preparing to teach this week's lesson, "What are your ground rules?" from Exodus 19:1-24:18, I thought of Jesus' response to one of the teachers of the Law in Mark 12:28-34. All other rules rest on the two commands He cited.

As you study this week, be sensitive to other New Testament verses that come to mind. They may be the very truths that God wants you to teach your class this week.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Grumbling and more

Jon Klubnik from Second Baptist Houston posted his lesson comments for "Tested Devotion". He emphasizes the issue of grumbling and I call your attention to his 6 points about the issue.

Gary Payne of Henderson Hills Baptist posted his slides for Tested Devotion. The deck is lengthy since he also covers chapters 17 and 18 in the background passage in addition to the lesson passages.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Making incremental improvements

I read Jeff Meyer's comments on the lesson "Tested Devotion," which motivated me to add an introduction he suggested.

I also tweaked a few points and created a picture of devotion based on a question asked in Mark Rathel's lesson commentary.

Hence, a new version of my PPT slides for Tested Devotion is available if you want to see the changes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tested Devotion, Exodus 15:22-18:27

I have a much better idea about how to teach a lesson like "Tested Devotion" after I hear it taught, or after I teach it myself. Hmmm. Maybe I should just do a “dry run” on a lesson plan and pray that God gives me insight about how to best present the background passage?

To prepare this week, I started by making PPT slides of the Lifeway plan  for "Tested Devotion."  I also used their suggested PowerPoint template, which was handy.

I plan to present these slides to a mirror and see what God teaches me. I'll go from there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Resurrection Hope

Since my church does not have bible study classes, I usually do not blog the week of Easter Sunday. However, I want to mention how important the hope of a bodily resurrection was to the early church. To see for yourself, take a few moments to read Rom 8:11,23;Phil 3:21;2 Cor 5:2.

Lifeway titled this week's lesson, "Resurrection Hope." For those teaching Sunday, it is a good lesson, but I also want to call your attention to a lesson on Easter Hope from Pembury Baptist Church, UK. It's more along the lines of our hope in a bodily resurrection.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PPT slides for "Persevering Faith," Exodus 13:1-15:20

I struggle sometimes to stick precisely with the Lifeway lesson, and this week I decided to cover most of the verses in Exodus 14. I hope you find the individual slide notes useful and the slides for “Persevering Faith” helpful. If needed, it is easy to cull the few extra slides I added.

A word of caution: I prepared one slide with a map that can be used to convey your understanding of the route Israel followed during the Exodus (it has no routes on it). I plan to point out the possible routes using a cool PowerPoint feature in presentation mode, called a pointer highlighter. In preparing my thoughts on  Exodus routes I read about recent archaeological discoveries (chariot wheel photos), the real location of Mt Sinai (Saudi Arabia), and a route far different from the traditional understanding (Nuweiba beach). I think good science requires confirmation of results by independent researchers, which is not the case in these purported new discoveries. If you present any of these new ideas, I would caution again being dogmatic since the true route is not known.

P.S. Co-teacher Randy Stewart also made his PPT slides available for "Persevering Faith." Also, you might consider comparing a hard heart to a hard-boiled egg that stops spinning (see this video).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Building base

I took the picture in the slide on a long hiking day on Mt Kilimanjaro last October. The porters easily caught me and passed by even though they were carrying 40 pound loads. They were very fit to persevere the multi-day journey.

Since I’m a runner and hiker, I’m thinking about introducing the lesson, "Persevering Faith," with a story about hiking Kilimanjaro last October. I’ll follow up by asking members “How do you build your faith in God?”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lesson plan strategy

One strategy for teaching a given background passage is to look at examples of how other people have successfully taught it and copy their approach. We do this when we teach the suggested plan from Lifeway, for example. Jeff Meyer of Bayleaf Baptist structured his teaching plan for “Persevering Faith” along these lines as did Floria Perez of Second Baptist in her lesson help. I like Jeff’s opening suggestion and Floria understanding of the Israelite organization/structure.

Another strategy is to use elements of a plan, such as the Life Goal suggested by Lifeway, and then structure your plan around it. Gary Payne of Henderson Hills Baptist uses the Lifeway aim “to help adults persevere in their faith in God” for his lesson, “Persevering Faith.” In his PowerPoint slides, Gary focuses on the issue of route taken by the Israelites.

I’m still studying, thinking and praying about the approach I’ll take this week. I may use Bob Deffinbaugh’s article as a basis for my PPT slides and put the focus on how God ultimately deals with His enemies (as opposed to a believer’s persevering faith). If nothing else, you have to like his opening story!

If you have a suitable plan developed for teaching Exodus 13, 14 in a Southern Baptist Church, let us know about it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Persevering Faith, Exodus 13:17-15:21

Co-teacher Curt did a great job yesterday with the lesson from Exodus 12:1-14. He titled his lesson, “Lamb of God Illustrated,” and related how the Exodus lamb was needed, chosen, slain, eaten, trusted, and honored.

He then gave a New Testament equivalent of each point presenting Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who was needed, chosen, slain, eaten, trusted and honored. Curt ended by saying, “God is the same yesterday and today. The difference is now one of administration—we are now under the new covenant, not the Abrahamic covenant.”

I’ve already started thinking about how to teach this week’s lesson, “Persevering Faith,” based on Exodus 13:17-15:21, with a focus on Exodus 13:17-18; 14:9-18, 31. For example, I'm thinking about taking some unleavened bread to class and have members eat a sample while I give the background in Exodus 13:1-16. This will help to make the lesson memorable.

Where can I buy unleavened bread? I don't have time to make it :-).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

PPT slides for "Amazing Deliverance", Exodus 12:1-14

Gary Payne is a bible teacher at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, OK. I'm including a link to his PowerPoint slides for this week's lesson, "Amazing Deliverance."

Also, I want to call you attention to a lesson plan by Phillip Inman of Second Baptist in Houston. He grabs attention by announcing members will learn how the first passover relates to Christians today. This sets up an expectation, which members listen for as the lesson progresses.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Protecting memorable moments

To prepare to teach the lesson, “Amazing Deliverance,” check out the opening suggestion in the lesson plan by Jeff Meyer of Bayleaf Baptist Church. His question about 'protecting memorable moments' is a variation of the Lifeway alternate teaching plan for Step 5, published in the Adult Leader Guide. However, I believe Jeff's approach will get the class talking, and prepare them to hear your discussion of Exodus 12:1-14.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Amazing Deliverance, Exodus 12:1-14

Couching his lesson last Sunday in the truth that God keeps His promises to us, co-teacher Randy Stewart did a masterful job presenting the plagues God performed to deliver the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.

Jeremiah 25:11 and Jeremiah 29:10-14 relates another time when God promised deliverance to the Israelites—this time from Babylonian captivity.

Jesus Christ gave up His life to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

This week’s lesson, Amazing Deliverance, based on Exodus 12:1-14, intends to help adults determine if they have experienced the Lord’s deliverance.

How are people enslaved today? Four types of slavery are defined in the article, “Types of Slavery”. To start the class talking about the subject of bondage, present these types of slavery. The topic of spiritual bondage will come up in the lesson.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Teachers step up

Gary Payne, an adult class teacher at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, OK, gave permission to post his PowerPoint slides for Sunday's lesson, "Divine Purpose."

Thanks Gary, I'm sure other teachers will look through it and see how it might help.

Late add, but co-teacher Randy Stewart also posted his slides for the lesson, "Divine Purpose". 

Thanks Randy!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Divine Purpose, Exodus 5:1-10:29

To begin the lesson, “Divine Purpose,” with an exercise (and perhaps fun), consider drawing a clock face on a marker board before class. Give members some of the words from the suggested activities list and have them note their activities around the clock face at the time they typically do them. This should get class members actively engaged in what’s going to happen in the lesson (this exercise will cause them to break with their normal class routine).

Friday, March 05, 2010

PPT slides for "Compassionate Action," Exodus 1:1-4:31

I'm posting my PowertPoint slides for this week's Explore the Bible, lesson "Compassionate Action."

All the best on your lesson preparation.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Working through

Working on teaching step 4 of the lesson, "Compassionate Action," I thought about presenting the slide below with a picture from the old TV show The Millionaire. The slide presents a few of many instances in Scripture illustrating God's work through others. Do you have a favorite "working through" verse, or example that I should use instead?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

God introduces Himself

I like the LifeWay Adult Leader Guide alternate suggestion for starting Step 3 of the lesson, "Compassionate Action." First have class members shake hands and formally introduce themselves to someone sitting nearby. Encourage them to learn something about each other. (Use left side of slide below.)

Next, have them call out characteristics of God as they read Micah 7:18-20 and Exodus 34:6-7. Then show the right side of the slide, which lists the characteristics.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hard work then and now

The Lifeway Adult Leader Guide plan for teaching Step 2 of the lesson, "Compassionate Action," suggests a discussion of hard work: then versus now. I'll facilitate that discussion in my class with a slide somewhat like the following one. However, the right hand column is not quite right. It needs to speak more directly to hard work, and working harder. Any suggestions?

Based on the comment below, I changed the slide to better define Hard Work now. Make sense?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Compassionate Action, Exodus 1:1-4:31

This week we start a series of lessons from Exodus. The first is "Compassionate Action" from Exodus 2:23-3:10, 3:19-20.

The Lifeway Adult Leader Guide suggests asking members to brainstorm the questions hurting people ask. I plan to use the four questions posed in the book, Hope When You're Hurting: Answers to Four Questions Hurting People Ask, by Dan B. Allender and Larry Crabb, as illustrated in the following slide.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When Life is Unfair, Mark 15:1-16:20

"When Life is Unfair" is the last lesson from Mark. It comes from Mark 15:1-16:20.

To help class members focus on the issue of unfairness, consider showing something like the following slide and having them answer its question after they examine each picture. The first is based on Luke 18:1-8. The second is a scene from nature. The third is a man appealing to a judge as a couple of members of the jury look on. To me they are pictures of injustice, partiality and deception.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lesson plans

Here are a few lesson plans in case you are still deciding how to teach Sunday's lesson: "When you have difficult decisions".

Co-teacher Randy Stewart's PowerPoint slides

Houston's Second Baptist, James Patterson

Bayleaf Baptist, Jeff Meyer

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On prayer

It's clear from the focal passage of the lesson, "When you have difficult decisions," that Jesus believed in prayer. That is, he prayed, so he clearly viewed it as necessary and desirable. But why? In what ways is prayer beneficial? Why is it necessary?

Monday, February 15, 2010

When You Have Difficult Decisions, Mark 14:1-72

Bible lessons are grounded in Scripture, but the message should also be clear and relevant.

In addition, the lesson should be interesting. This usually requires a degree of creativity.

What creative ideas do you have for teaching the lesson, "When You Have Difficult Decisions"?

Perhaps you can share your ideas as a guest blogger on this site? I'm open to the idea!

As an example (and one that is relevant to this week's lesson), read a post by a guest blogger, Two Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making A Difficult Decision.

I suggest using these two questions to open your lesson on Sunday, then ask class members to critique the two questions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lesson ideas

If you plan on an exegesis of this week's lesson from Mark 13 you might want to read the outline posted by Brian Harbour (see page 11).

Also, Gary Payne posted his PowerPoint slides for "When you feel overwhelmed."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mark 13 in pictures

While studying the Gospel of John last night, I had an idea for how to teach Mark 13 and the lesson, "When you feel overwhelmed."

The idea was to present the text in a series of pictures. I searched the web, and you can stitch together a disconnected set of images concerning each passage, or you can use a series of pictures like this one.

It's actually pretty cool. Give the author credit, which is Brendan Powell Smith, and he calls it the Brick Testament.

What I would do is place each image on a PPT slide and I would also stick to the verses in Mark rather than make references to other verses on the slides as he does.

Let me know if you need help making PPT slides of his pictures.

Monday, February 08, 2010

When you feel overwhelmed, Mark 13:1-37

If you're like me you probably feel overwhelmed just thinking about preparing to teach this week's lesson from Mark 13:1-37. The passage involves the then future destruction of the temple, the Second Coming of Christ, and the end of the age.

An exegesis of the key verses seems appropriate, but the thought of preparing and cramming it into a 40 minute lesson seems overwhelming. The lesson is appropriately titled: "When you feel overwhelmed."

What to do?


Read the passage.


Trust God to make clear what to do.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

See anything helpful?

Remember to look at the question based lesson plan offered by First Baptist, Chester, IL.

Also Scott Susong of Second Baptist, Houston posted his lesson plan, which might be helpful. His angle is "loyal love".

Gary Payne posted his PPT slides for the lesson, "When Your Priorities are Challenged," as did co-teacher Randy Stewart (see Presentation_Mark_11_12).

If you see something else that would help teachers on Sunday, be sure and post it as a comment.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What's your mindset?

The Lifeway material presents the lesson, "When Priorities are Challenged," in a time-management context. I'm not saying that's not an issue, but managing overly busy lives is not the focus of Mark 12:13-17, 28-34.

Those trying to trap Jesus wanted to put him on the "horns of a dilemma"-- a place where regardless of his answer he would be open to further accusation. Jesus skillfully moved away from the issue being paying or not paying taxes to the priority of meeting both obligations -- to God and to government.

Where in our lives do we face such dilemmas? For example, should a young mother take a job or stay at home? Either way some element of modern society will judge her. Should a sports-minded individual pay for cable TV in order to receive desired sports channels and along with them offensive programming on other channels, or not and miss some fun sports events? Should a high school kid make a choice that will gain some friendships, perhaps some not with the best character, or stay at home and play video games alone?

Anyway, I thought the lesson passage was teaching that we should be priority minded--that is, meet our obligations first regardless of what the resource issue is--time, money, talent, energy, etc.

Perhaps a way to start talking about "mindset" is to ask the class to match the opposites in the following list:

1. Broad Minded A. Weak Minded
2. Double Minded B. Closed Minded
3. Strong Minded C. Earthly Minded
4. Spiritually Minded D. Narrow Minded
5. Open Minded E. Single Minded

Then ask which mindset best characterizes their perspective:

I. Literal minded
II. Money minded
III. Tough minded
IV. Career minded
V. Mission minded
VI. Business minded
VII. Priority minded

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

When Your Priorities are Challenged, Mark 12:13-17, 28-34

The lesson title this week is "When Your Priorities are Challenged." Its focus is taken from Mark 12:13-17, 28-34.

Perhaps a way to get your class involved in the lesson is to begin by asking them, "Name some things you 'had to' do this past week?" The emphasis is on "had to". Make a note of things people mention. "I had to go to work." "I had to go to a funeral." "I had to renew my drivers license." "I had to pay my taxes." etc.

After that discussion, ask members another question. "What did you 'get to' do this week?" Put the emphasis on "get to". The gig is over at this point they will catch on and may clam up. Some may mention a few things like "Baby sit the grandkids," "Attend church," or "Take a friend to the doctor," but the key is the first question exposes our typical mindset. Ask rhetorically, "Are you a 'have to' person, or a 'get to' person?"

You can close your introduction and get into the lesson, by asking members the question, "What is your mindset about your obligations to God, to government, to others?" That's the focus of this lesson.

Friday, January 29, 2010

PPT slides for "How to Be Successful," Mark 10:32-45

I uploaded my PowerPoint slides for "How to Be Successful," a lesson on how a Christian can take up his/her cross based on Mark 10:32-45. I made a few notes on the some of the slides to help you understand how I plan to present them.

I didn't create an overview slide for Chapter 10, or a slide relating the healing of Bartimaeus to the lesson. You may not like the plan I developed. In either case, consider Jon Klubnik's lesson from Houston's Second Baptist as an alternative.

May God bless our classes this Sunday as we teach His Word. What a privilege!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 secrets to success

Well, I'm going to start my lesson on "How to Be Successful," using the following slide posing a question regarding 10 Secrets to Success.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Most likely to succeed

Continuing my quest for question/picture slides to teach: "How to Be Successful," I will use the following slide to introduce Step 2. Note: I changed my mind and decided to use the "cup" slide to introduce Step 3. Now if I can just come up with an overall introductory slide, I'll have a plan.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some of the Great

Again, thinking about my slides for teaching, "How to be Successful," from Mark 10:35-45, I think I'll use the following question/picture slide to introduce the last step.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Be Succesful, Mark 10:35-45

I was thinking about starting off this week's lesson with the following question/picture slide. Can you name these famous cups and what they represent?

This will lead into the lesson, "How to Be Successful" from Mark 10:35-45.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Randy's slides

Co-teacher Randy Stewart posted his slides for "How to Get Along With Others," based on Mark 8:34-10:31.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monty's slides

Thought I'd make sure you saw Monty's slides by posting a link to his comment.

Good job Monty!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A different aim

This week's lesson, "How to Get Along With Others," is challenging. For a different take on the same verses (Mark 9:33-50), see "The Sovereign's View of First," by Karen Conner, from Second Baptist, Houston.

Her lesson aim is "To examine different scenarios where great courage was needed, see the response, and see what Christ desired so that we can grasp towards the same." This is different from the aim of the Lifeway lesson, which is to "Help adults strive to get along better w/other people."

Do you plan to mention the term Servant Leader? It was used in the lesson material posted by Jeff Meyer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Get Along With Others, Mark 8:34-10:31

With a title of "How to Be Pro Life", I worried yesterday's class might anticipate a dry, uninteresting lesson. However, the Lord blessed my question based lesson plan, and the class was very interactive. They left in a buzz even though we ran late. I hope your lesson was well received, too.

All of us need this week's lesson, "How to Get Along With Others," from Mark 9:33-43, 47-50. What did Jesus mean in saying, "Deny yourself, and take up your cross and follow me."?

As you go about your business this week be alert to situations that test how well you get along with others. I believe the Lord will bring learning opportunities into our lives this week that will allow us to teach the lesson with first-hand experience.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

PPT slides for "How to be Pro Life", Mark 3,5, & 10

To make the class interactive, I took an approach in my lesson slides of asking questions as the commentary on each passage.

May the good Lord bless our classes as we teach tomorrow.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Past slides

Tom Ramsey (Second Baptist Houston) posted his lesson plan for "How to Be Pro Life". He takes a very different tact in teaching the lesson than what is suggested by Lifeway.

I've been busy this week, but I hope to post my PowerPoint slides sometime tomorrow morning.

Three years ago, I posted on this blog my PPT slides for the sanctity of life lesson, “Valuing Every Life.” Four years ago, I posted slides for "Live in Respect." Maybe they will help some of you?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recently irritated

I was thinking about situations lately where I have been irritated at other people. I thought this would give me some ideas to use in teaching the lesson, "How to Be Pro-Life" (Mark 3:3-5; 5:33-42; 10:14-16). They are good examples of where I was not too caring.

I've traveled a lot lately, and sometimes I'm irritated in a crowded airport when I'm nearly run over by parents pushing a kid in an SUV-sized stroller. Irritated at the parents, I ask myself "Are they transporting a child or moving?" Also, I get irritated when I get beeped at to make way for a cart carrying perfectly healthy people rushing to make a flight just like I am doing.

In one situation I was looking for a parking spot (in bad weather) and none were to be found up close to my destination. However, it was surrounded by myriad EMPTY handicap parking places, so many that the business appeared to be closed. Somewhat irritated, I parked a fair distance away and as I traipsed toward the main door, a lady whipped into a handicap spot and hussled into the building ahead of me. She was not handicapped.

To help surface uncaring attitudes in your class ask members to talk about a situation where they were recently irritated. Some might involve interruptions such as the one Jesus experienced in Mark 5:33-42, or Mark 10:14-16. You might mention how this article suggests dealing with irritation, and contrast it with the approach used by Jesus.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yeah, but...

Perhaps a way to teach step 2 of the lesson, "How to be Pro-Life", is to read and ask members for their honest reaction to this story.

Make a few notes on a marker board as members call out their responses. If posted comments on the article are any clue, you'll probably get a range of reactions to the story.

I think you can leave it there, and go on to read Mark 3:3-5 and talk about Jesus' concern for a man in spite of the technicality of it being a Sabbath.

Ask members if they have ever used the phrase, "Yeah, but..." when making an excuse.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to be Pro-Life, Mark 3:1-6; 5:21-43; 10:13-16

My class was well received yesterday. Several members indicated they liked the interactive nature of the lesson presentation. I've found that allowing adults to get involved in the class helps them to be more attentive and better apply the lesson points to their lives.

Learning by immersion (see 10 points) may be a unique way to teach this week's lesson, "How to Be Pro-Life," which is based on Mark 3:1-6; 5:21-43; 10:13-16.

As a teacher, I need to inspire change to get members to take specific actions to enhance the lives of others. I could suggest, for example, specific actions such as visiting members of the church who are shut-ins, writing cards to encourage the elderly, or phoning a needy friend or family member. They may not follow thru, however.

It would be more instructive to immerse the class in a learning experience in the Church nursery, the Church prayer room, or in a Church pre-school class. Of course such a visit would have to be prearranged and planned, but it would put class members into the actual environment where all their senses could help them learn, for example, to comfort a crying child, pray for a non-Christian, or help a pre-schooler learn to count.

I need to do some planning, but I'll probably teach a brief lesson from the focal passage illustrating how Jesus was people oriented, then make our immersive learning trip. An alternative is to arrange for a pre-K class to visit my class. It would shock everyone to see those kids walk into the classroom!

Think about it. It's just an idea.

Friday, January 08, 2010

PPT slides for "How to Develop Your Faith" Mark 7 & 8

I posted PowerPoint slides for "How to Develop Your Faith," based on Mark 7 and 8.

Let me also recommend Monty's slides (see link in his comment), which offers a discussion of faith and points out the resources available for Christian to use for personal growth.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A tradition of standing

I was thinking of a tradition in the modern church to use Sunday to help my class relate to how it is used in Mark 7:3-5, 8-9, 13.

Let me try it first on you. Many Sunday's in my church, a worship song is sung while the congregation is seated. Inevitability, during the song, however, someone will stand--perhaps because of a right heart attitude. Shortly, a person sitting nearby will also stand. Before long, other people stand up in what becomes a wave that sweeps over the whole congregation. Why?

I think of it as a tradition like "hand washing". It's certainly not a commandment, but why do people stand up? To avoid the appearance of not worshiping?

Perhaps other people do join in and stand to display a worshipful heart. However, my guess is that many people stand without the right heart attitude.

Jesus might say, "The act of standing does not affect the heart," or "The rightness of a person's heart is not determined by standing, or sitting."

Of course I could be wrong about all this. Am I off base?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I do not understand!

To teach Step 3 of the lesson, "How to Develop Your Faith", based on Mark 8:16-21, I think I'll use Proverbs 30:18-19.

18 "There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:

19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden. Proverbs

I plan to discuss how Agur was open to admitting his lack of understanding in four areas--the physical mysteries of how such a large bird can fly, how a snake adheres and transverses smooth stone, or a heavy boat actually floats, and the relationship issues between men and women. Ask the class about their understanding of these four areas, which should make for some lively discussion!

Relate the discussion back to the issue of what is it about Jesus that the disciples did not understand? Key is for class members to acknowledge their need to admit what they don't understand. Only then can they be open to learning spiritual truth about Jesus.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

How to Develop Your Faith, Mark 7:1-8:33

The lesson, "How to Develop Your Faith," challenges us to grow in our spiritual understanding of "Who Jesus is."

I've studied Mark 7&8 and the next step for me in lesson preparation is to read the LifeWay materials. This helps me understand the lesson as they have designed it. I get prepared to at least teach it, if nothing else.

I pray about it and add ideas as I have time, and study enough to make sure I "own" the lesson. You can only teach what you know, and it's amazing to me how God brings experiences into my life during the week that pertain to the lesson in some way.

Consider using the following "mistake" quotes to open your lesson (the last one was selected to help jump into the lesson):

No one is listening until you make a mistake.

We made too many wrong mistakes.
Yogi Berra

It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.
Ornette Coleman

Three-fourths of the mistakes a man makes are made because he does not really know what he thinks he knows.
James Bryce

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
John Powell

Monday, January 04, 2010

Site update

I haven't posted a site update since the update in 2008.

Increase in site traffic slowed in 2009 since I traveled much of the year and didn't blog most of Oct and Nov. This reduction can be seen in the following chart from

Nevertheless, I'm excited that you continue to come to the site, and I'm praying more teachers will find it useful. I'm excited that some of you are taking time to also post your lesson ideas and PowerPoint slides. The Lord is good.

I'm teaching "How to Develop Your Faith" on Jan 10, so I look forward to posting this week as we study Mark 7 & 8. Join in when you can and comment with your ideas to help all of us teach a better lesson.

Friday, January 01, 2010

PPT slides for "How to Be Courageous" Mark 6

I posted my PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "How to Be Courageous," based on Mark 6:6b-56.

Also, co-teacher Randy Stewart posted his slides for the same lesson.

Thanks to all of you who continue to use this site. Remember to read the comments by others. A good summary chart for Mark was pointed out in a comment by patkritt.

Appreciate it Pat! Very helpful.

Also see the comments to this post by Monty.