Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Study....Really Study the Word
Great Bible teaching is based on thorough study of the Word. Period.
Yes, you can plagiarize lessons or sermons from someone else. You can get pretty far "borrowing" from others.
Yes, if they're available to you, you can just follow-along with the premade lesson plan or study guide. You might even look pretty knowledgeable and smooth.
But I am steadfast in my conviction that the best lessons and sermons -- the ones which most change you as well as your hearers -- are based in persevering study of the Word.
Teaching from Ephesians 1 this week? Read it 10 times a day. Create a markup copy of the text using your favorite text editor, and liberally mark it up with underlines, comments, connecting arrows, and insights as they come to mind.
Teaching on forgiveness? Decide on the passage(s) to use, and read them 10-20 times a day. Read them, chew on them, meditate on the meaning, pray over every word, and never be satisfied that you have drawn out all the understanding. When you can close your eyes and see the text in your mind, when you can hear it in your mind, you've started well.
This is the no-shortcut path to teaching the Bible to change lives.
P.S. To help you think about the importance of detailed observation...and repeated study of the same passage, in order to extract the most possible from it, read this famous story: