Bible Teaching Tips! (Tip #3)

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Welcome to today’s edition of Teaching Tip Thursday!

Today’s Tip: Review isn’t for dummies

If you have the opportunity to teach a class with the same person (or people) more than once, do not hesitate to review. It gives you, as a teacher, a pulse on what information has been retained and what the student does (or does not) already know.

#1: Review (briefly) the previous lesson.

When the kids and I have our daily bible reading, I often ask them about yesterday’s reading. If we are reading a bible account like the gospels, it helps orient them to a time period. If we are reading out of the same book (i.e. Romans), I ask questions like, “who wrote it?” or “who was it written to?” I may have asked the question every day for the last 5 days, but until I’m satisfied that all three of them really retain it, I keep drilling. As noted in the previous tip, context is extremely important. Knowing details helps keep things in their proper place.

#2: Review verses.

This includes both what it says and where it’s found.

While I was attending college, the preacher at our congregation taught countless Bible studies, and I was blessed to attend many of them. It was his regular habit to ask those in attendance to quote a particular passage while emphasizing a particular point. For example, he would be teaching about the inspired writers of the Bible and would say something like, “…as it says in 2 Timothy 3.16. Can you tell me what that says?” If we all looked stumped, he’d reply, “I’ll start it for you and then you can paraphrase or finish it: ‘All scripture is given by…'” The light bulbs would start flashing and at least one person in the class could paraphrase or quote it. If nobody could come up with it, we would all look it up together and read it aloud. By the time I graduated college, I could both reference and quote (or paraphrase) hundreds of passages, all because of the repetitive drill! He took great care not to come across as belittling in this approach; he was trying to encourage us all to rise in knowledge. It was like being in a math class and the professor asking if anyone can recite their multiplication tables every week. You didn’t want to be the only one in class who couldn’t do it!

#3: Review basics

Basics include (but are not limited to): books of the Bible, the categories of Bible books, Old vs New Testament, principles of salvation, what faith is, the Trinity, etcetera.

Books of the Bible? Yes! Knowing the order of the books of the Bible enables you to look up passages without having to go to the table of contents for page numbers.

Categories of Bible books? Yes! Knowing categories helps one understand the order of the Bible books and emphasizes the non-chronological nature of the Bible. Granted, the events in Genesis happened first, and Revelation is indeed the last book written, but not all books are in their chronological place. Books of the Bible are grouped by category. For example, Ruth did not happen after Judges, but during the period of the Judges. The minor prophets did not come after Kings and Chronicles, but were often contemporary with them. Job is often believed to have taken place during the time of the patriarchs, but it is grouped with the “Books of Poetry” (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon).

Old vs New Testament? You betcha! I can’t tell you how many times people try to put us under the Old Law because they fail to understand the division between Old Testament books and New Testament books.

Basics deserve regular emphasis.

This may sound a bit crazy, but even though I practically grew up on the pew, I absolutely love hearing a preacher deliver a lesson on some basic or foundational principle. For one thing, reviewing the basics gives the seasoned Christians fresh ideas on how to present facts to people who aren’t familiar with the gospel. For another, if a teacher is in front of a large audience and does not know the knowledge point of everyone, he is likely introducing or clarifying an important principle for someone in that group.

Review really isn’t for dummies!

In order to retain knowledge, it must be used and repeated.

What review methods have you found to be effective in your Bible studies? Please share them in the comments below!

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22 thoughts on “Bible Teaching Tips! (Tip #3)

  1. Emily October 13, 2016 / 05:38

    This is good advice! I’m going to be leading a study group with new Christian youth and I’m so excited.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 10:40

      Thanks, Emily. May you have success in teaching. It’s no easy task! There is a tendency to think that young people only need advice on coping with society, but I think that is false. They need to be grounded in the truths of God’s word AND be taught how to deal with worldly pressure. May the Lord bless you as you work for Him!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 10:41

      Thank you, Vincent! May the Lord bless you and grant you continued healing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keri L. October 13, 2016 / 08:05

    good advice! Can’t wait to do this with my niece and nephew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 10:41

      Thank you, Keri! I hope that you have success with teaching them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Duncan October 13, 2016 / 12:26

    Hi Elihu, this something which I started doing recently in my groups. It really makes people think. My group is of late 20’s. So I do review in the form of quiz which makes people excited. And there will be discussion to answer right. This is fun and helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 15:20

      Wonderful! I’m glad you’ve had success. A quiz sounds pretty cool. what are you currently studying?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shattered in Him October 13, 2016 / 13:01

    Wow, I am working on a project and these tips are SO the kind of advice I needed. Your blog has been such a wonderful discovery today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 15:21

      I am delighted that they are helpful to you. May the Lord bless your project.

      Like

  5. Salvageable October 13, 2016 / 14:00

    This is excellent advice. I would add that the review time should be short so new ground can be covered. I stopped attending one class because the teacher generally spent at least half the hour reviewing the previous week’s verses. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 13, 2016 / 15:19

      Excellent input! I am so glad you brought that up. ☺️

      I have also been to classes where 30 minutes was review and the last 15 was new material. It can definitely go too far. Thank you so much for your excellent advice. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beckielindsey October 13, 2016 / 16:42

    I love to (and need to) review, review, and review. In fact, I’m currently doing a great study which is a review of the basics of scripture called Seamless by Angie Smith. Seamless covers the people, places and promises of the Bible, tying them together into the greater story of Scripture.
    It’s so fantastic! I think every Christian, whether new to faith or seasoned, should do this study. I’m thinking it will be one I review every couple of years.

    Thanks for your wonderful tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 14, 2016 / 04:25

      I will definitely look up that material. Thank you so much for sharing it here. Just recently, the teacher in our Bible class covered Genesis and reminded us that, although most of us were likely familiar with it’s accounts, it is necessary to continue to review them because each time we will discover something new. He was definitely right!

      Thank you for your comment, Beckie! God bless you.

      Like

  7. Ahava Elle October 13, 2016 / 23:09

    This is great, just what I needed, very applicable!! Thanks so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 14, 2016 / 17:56

      Wonderful! Thank you for stopping by the blog and for the follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. SLIMJIM October 15, 2016 / 01:16

    Good point. I found this to be very true as something we need to do as a pastor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu October 15, 2016 / 05:34

      Very true!

      Being a preacher or pastor is a challenging job, and I hope that the Lord strengthens and protects you to do His work. 😊 God be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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