How To Plan A Lesson

Whether you’re a volunteer or someone who is just getting started in youth ministry, the idea of planning and giving a lesson can be daunting. I highly recommend checking out Andy Stanley’s book, Communicating for a Change. This book has helped me so much in defining a clear message that your audience can relate to. Here are 5 tips from the book and some questions to help get you started:

  1. Determine Your Goal
    • What are you trying to accomplish?
    • You should not ‘teach people to bible’ or ‘teach bible to people’. Instead teach life changing that teaches people how to live a life that reflects the values, principles, and truths of the Bible.
    • You should be answering “So What?” and “Now What?”
  2. Pick A Point
    • What are you trying to say?
    • This should be a one point message
      • An application, insight, or principle
    • Answer these two questions before you teach
      1. What is the one thing I want them to know?
      2. What do I want them to do about it?
    • Build everything around the one point, make it stick, make your one point memorable and short.
  3. Create A Map
    • What’s the best route to get to your one point?
      • Build a relationship between you, audience, and God.
    • ME – WE – GOD – YOU – WE
      • ME – Orientation  (How you can relate)
      • WE – Identification (How they can relate, find the tension)
      • GOD – Illumination (Resolve the tension)
      • YOU – Application (How can we achieve this? Make it achievable)
      • WE – Inspiration (Vision casting)
  4. Internalize The Story
    • What’s your story? How do you connect with what you are teaching?
  5. Engage Your Audience
    • What’s your plan to capture and keep their attention?
      • Connect with them on an emotional level, around a real need they feel.
    • What is the question I am answering? What can I do to get my audience to want to know the answer?

These are just a few guidelines that I picked up through reading the book, there are many more tips that you will find in the book as well. One thing that I found to be my biggest struggle with teaching, is making sure that everything is right and that I don’t mess it up. I constantly need to remind myself that the chances of a student or group of people remembering everything you teach verbatim is very unlikely. When  I think back to my youth group days of being a student, it wasn’t all the lessons that I remember, but it was being in relationship with my peers as we all strive to become who God created us to be while serving and learning together. Don’t get too hung up on the technicality of the teaching that you forget that the Holy Spirit has the most important job, to change hearts.

I would love to hear how you prep for teaching! What methods or guidelines do you use to help teach?

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Bryan Langfitt

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