Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Is This Dream from God?

Because you are teaching people the Word of God, you're likely to be asked for counsel. People will share a dream or vision from you, and ask you "Is this from God? How can I know?"

Tommy Barnett has two dream tests:

1. It's bigger than you
2. You can't shake it

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tips for Researching Facts and Illustrations

PreachingToday.com (a good resource) has a free article available here -- excellent tips for researching facts and illustrations. Search smart, save time, be accurate!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"The Great Bible Teacher Collection" Almost Ready!

I have a new product coming -- I call it "The Great Bible Teacher Collection." I'm making practically all the information I've created for Bible teachers available as one package, PLUS some never-before-released videos. Since Christmas is coming, there's a special bonus available if you purchase by Nov 14th. I will send you all the information on two complimentary CDs; one is for you, and one is to give away as a Christmas gift!

You can get more information here, including a free bonus of the audio message from a seminar I did recently on "Bible Teaching to Change Lives." I encourage you to sign up today!

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Audio Answer -- Which Bible translation?

I've posted a new audio answer to the question "Which Bible translation should I use?" Enjoy!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

There is an excerpt from Philip Yancey's new book on prayer available here. Check it out. There is enough information just in this excerpt to create a powerful devotion or part of a Bible study on prayer.
Illustrations -- Part III

You can find part III of this series on teaching using illustrations here. The key idea is to break down an observation or story into its component parts, and then attach or extract meaning from it. Worth your time.

Some people seem to be able to do this effortlessly. I believe this has been a useful series because it lays out the process so that anyone can improve their skills.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Marketing" Bible Studies

We live in a culture where people's attention time is scarce -- there are THOUSANDS of things competing for their attention. So it's increasingly helpful to market your Bible studies at your church or in your neighborhood.

Marketing just means getting people excited about your product. (Sales is closing the deal.)

Now you may be saying, "If poeple aren't excited about studying the Bible, then it's not our problem." WRONG. Many of the people who could get very excited about diving into the Word with you simply don't know it's a possibility. Help them out!

This article lists 7 ways you can increase the 'buzz' for Bible studies.

Need further motivation to do this kind of effort? Here's a fact: excited people learn more.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Finding Illustrations -- Part 2

The article continues here. I liked the strategy of building a story around your observations. Remember, there's neurological evidence that our brains are hard-wired to be more open to stories and images. So use words that paint strong images, and you are more likely to engage your listener's brain!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Keep Looking Forward

Satan heaps on the guilt -- that is not our job as teachers. The Holy Spirit convicts the hearts of people (see John 16:8-11); we are not the Jr. Holy Spirit.

Mark Batterson has some good counsel about teaching on topics that might trigger guilt: keep looking forward.

"When I talk on a tough topic that I know might send people on a guilt trip I try to focus on the future. I don't want to bury people with guilt. Our messages can actually cause unintended consequences like defeatism if we aren't careful. That's what happens if we focus on the past. People just wallow in their past. So when I preach on a tough topic I try to remind our congregation that what you did yesterday isn't nearly as important as what you do tomorrow!For example, if you're talking about sexual purity there is a danger of sending people on a long guilt trip. But that isn't the goal. The goal is to help people reestablish godly sexual boundaries. I've found that when I say I'm not as concerned about yesterday as I am about tomorrow, it's like our congregation breathes as sigh of relief. Keep it future-tense!Isn't that what Jesus did when he said: 'Go and sin no more.' "

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Here's a Challenge for Great Bible Teachers

Mark Batterson writes:

"Here's my New Year Manifesto:

Grab life by the mane. Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop criticizing and start creating. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Laugh at yourself. Keep making mistakes. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. And remember: if God is for us who can be against us? Unleash the lion chaser within!"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Word Implanted Bears Fruit

Working with children's ministries? Check out this short article about helping children understand Bible verses, memorize, and apply them.

Not working with children's ministries? The advice will be helpful for you, too!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting Past Boredom

A friend simply despises it when his young boys come to him and say, "I'm bored." So he cured them of this by replying, "No, you're not Bored, you're Johnny." :-)

There are two situations where boredom kills learning and growth. The first is when your class or study group participants are bored. To them you sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown TV specials: wah-wah-waa-wa-waaaa-wah.

The second is when you find yourself bored in personal Bible study or lesson prep.

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker

Shift the mindset to curiosity!

Ask odd questions, use intriguing illustrations, get their attention with something different than they expect! Plant seeds about the next lesson that generate curiousity and anticipation. Engage their imaginations and emotions.

And for yourself, remember that the Bible is the coolest, most wonderful book in the world. Repent before the Lord (repentance means "change of mind") and get engaged with it. Try a different approach to stay fresh and get new insights. I have plenty of great Bible study approaches in my book, Teach the Bible to Change Lives.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Audio Answer

My latest audio answer -- don't compare yourself with other teachers -- is available here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Finding Illustrations!

One of the biggest challenges for effective teaching is finding good illustrations. Just how do those famous preachers do it? Check this excellent article (1st part in a series).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Many of you are called into situations where people ask you for help with their problems. Here's some excellent advice for you.