Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Would you like to hear the advice I gave them? It might sound wacky to you.
Here is it:
Have fun with your teaching. Stop looking at it as a duty, as work, as something heavy and overwhelming. Aim for joy in teaching.
The best Bible teachers, in my observation, have a lot of fun as they're teaching. They're enjoying themselves. And their students respond to this as well. I'm not saying that they're entertaining just to be entertaining, or softening the truth of the message. But you can see it in their faces how much they're enjoying the ministry.
I read recently about the Tarahumara runners in Mexico -- who routinely run many miles, even long than 24 hours. Their focus? The enjoyment of running:
"The Tarahumara don’t train for peak performance. They don’t wear high-tech running shoes. They don’t optimize their diet – more often than not, they smoke and pound corn beer minutes before the “race” begins. They aren’t “in it to win it” – there’s a bit of friendly competitiveness, but hard-core competition is unheard of.
The Tarahumara simply start running, and by the time they stop, several hours (or days) have passed and they’re tens (or hundreds) of miles from where they started. It’s not uncommon for them to run the equivalent of several marathons back-to-back, take a break, then go for another run.
The Tarahumara don’t do a lot of things, but what they do is essential: they just relax and enjoy the feel of moving." -- from a blog post by Josh Kaufman
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
You can certainly steer people to a chronological Bible, or a reading plan that takes them through the Bible in chronological order. Fortunately many study Bibles give some chronological information.
I recommend you help them by using a Bible timeline tool. This not only helps them understand the order and time-spacing of the Biblical accounts, but connects it with what else was going on in the world at that time.
Rose Publishing produces a 20 foot long card stock timeline that would be nice to post on the wall.
Years ago I found a small size foldout that I still carry in my Bible, but I can't find that online for sale anywhere now. (Let me know if you have a source.)
The most detailed Bible timeline tool I've ever seen is available as a PDF file at a modest price, well worth it. The advantage of the PDF file is it's versatility. You can enlarge just a section of it and put it in a handout. You can pull it up on a computer screen and project it on the wall if you have that technology. You can print it off for your own purposes in different sizes. If your printout is damaged or dirty, simply print a fresh copy.
Walking a group through the biblical timeline makes for a wonderful class or study group series. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how interested people are when they see the biblical story laid out this way, and the questions that will surface.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
HT: Between Two Worlds
Thursday, August 20, 2009
If you're interested in Biblical geography and history, check out the catalog at Bible Books & Maps. They have about 3000 unique maps from ancient times to the modern Middle East, and a wide range of books on history of the biblical lands.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
"Years ago I took the Dale Carnegie public speaking course. In it I learned three things that I try to practice: 1) Know your subject thoroughly. 2) Be convinced your audience needs to hear your message. 3) Have a strong passion to deliver the message. Though these principles were applied in the context of secular speeches, I found them very helpful for my message preparation and delivery." Source