Thursday, December 20, 2007

GodTube Virtual Bible

The folks at (a Christian YouTube alternative) have put out an interesting and useful Virtual Bible.

What's new about this is that for every Bible passage you look up, they display related videos. Sometimes it's a video of a Bible teacher, sometimes it's humorous. It's a pretty slick way to find video content that might complement your teaching.

By the way, I wouldn't recommend this to dialup users. If you need a fast online Bible for low bandwidth environments, try

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas 2007 To Do List

Christmas 2007 To Do List

Adore Believe Celebrate Desire Enjoy
Forgive Grow Help Inspire JESUS
Kiss Love Minister Need Obey Pray
Quest Rejoice Sing Thank Understand
Vor Worship X-alt Yearn Zzzzzz

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review Yourself

One of the hardest -- and most helpful -- things you can do is to record your lessons and listen to yourself.

There are some wonderful, inexpensive digital voice recorders available now. I use an Olympus unit with an external mic. Easy to use and completely unobtrusive; I just turn it on and slip it into my pocket, with the mic position on my shirt for good audio pick-up. I transfer the audio file to my PC via the built-in USB connection.

I recommend you wait at least a day, to improve your objectivity. Also, prepare to be surprised that it sounds different occasionally than what you thought you said!

(Note that you'll need to arrange a different means to assess how you came across visually.)

Realistically assess your hook, questions, interaction, application, and lauch phases. It's been said that "feedback is the breakfast of champions." Dig into your Wheaties!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How Much Time Should You Spend Preparing a Lesson?

I'm occasionally asked how much time should be spent preparing a lesson.

The answer: It depends.

I know, that's a cop-out. The reality is that some lessons do take longer to prepare than others. Short lessons often take as long or longer to prepare than lengthier lessons; it takes work to winnow out the non-essentials. Is the material something that you've mastered in the past, or is it new? Do you already know the audience well, and have a sense of their needs? Is this lesson a bridge to or from other materials, that helps to shape the content? Many questions!

My recommendation is not to procrastinate, because then it's much more difficult to hear from the Lord. (He's still speaking, but we're not in position to listen well.)

So I hesitate to give you a specific number of hours or minutes as a guideline, because the real issue is to seek the Lord's direction, and start working on it. God honors our part when we act faithfully, and put our best into it. Once we begin working on it, we trust that the Lord steers and directs us in the way He wants us to go.

Now, if you're thinking, "Great, I only need to spend 10 minutes on it!" then you missed the message here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We Don't Get a Map

People want to know the future. We want to know all the next steps. We want clarity on all the optional routes to multiple possible destinations. We want to know all the risks. We want to plan.

What God provides is a compass, and a heading, but not a map.

In truth, this is wonderful Grace to us. In truth, we are not constitutionally able to handle what we want -- the map. It would tear us apart to have it.

The compass and heading instructions are what we need, and what we can handle. Our task is obedience to stay on that heading until given further orders.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Make Time to Read Scripture for You

Many of the Bible teachers I work with (well, all of them!) are BUSY!

Make time to be with the Lord in the Word, with no agenda other than to listen and learn and soak it up. This is not about developing a new lesson, finding the answer to that question someone asked, or preparing for class.

This calls for Quiet. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

This is like being still in meadow and letting a deer come and graze near you. The deer will come and graze, but you must be still.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Comparing Mormon and Christian Views

I've had several requests for explanations comparing Mormon and Christian theology. Here's a good starter.

There are certainly others available online. A key issue in my conversations with LDS members is that they use the same theological terms, but with a different meaning.

I applaud the sincerity and convictions of the Mormons I know. But I believe their sincerity is based on false teaching.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

You ARE a Leader

Bible teachers are leaders. It's a responsibility. It's a fact.

We can certainly have a conversation about what kind of leader you are, or how effective you are.

Take this to heart, take it before the Lord, and let it energize you into great ministry. The days of recreational Bible teaching are over. The people God put into your sphere of influence need helpful, life-changing insights and understanding, direct from the Word of God.

Get 'Em to Lean With You!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Keep Their Attention!

Peter Mead has an excellent description of the responsibility of the preacher/teacher to keep his listeners' attention. Recommended:

This is crucial stuff, teachers! I'm not asking that you only entertain, because we're not about tickling ears. But you must keep people engaged (Yes, they have a responsibility, too, but you're wrong to throw all responsibility on them!) if you're going to truly teach to change lives for Christ.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Word Lit Up

I may have posted about this before, but it's a fascinating image composite of the earth viewed at night -- you can very readily make out major cities, interstate road systems, and country borders in many cases.

This is a fun way to pray for the world. Not everthing that is lit up here is living in THE LIGHT!