Each week at Special Gathering, we teach the Scriptures two times and two ways.  First, we teach in a devotional format where the entire group gathers.  Of course, this is much like a sermon.  Then we teach in a smaller classroom setting.

Obviously, preparing a teaching for the classroom is different from preparing a devotion.  At Special Gathering, we have done a good deal of work in how to prepare and present a sermon to people who are mentally challenged.  We have prepared several videos that you can view on our website.

Teaching a class with ten to 12 students can be even more challenging than teaching a larger group.  Here are

some pointers that you should remember as you begin to prepare.

  1. Don’t under prepare or over prepare.  Study three times the amount of time that you will teach.  A 15 minute teaching requires 45 minutes.  One hour, three hours of study.
  2. Mentally challenged people (and everyone else) learn by continual repetition.  Reteaching the same lesson that was taught or will be taught for devotion on the same day will only reinforce the Biblical principle.  Don’t shy away from teaching the same lesson.  This seems to be the hardest lesson for Bible teachers within our community to learn.
  3. Reading the lesson to my class is NEVER acceptable.  It is harder to learn the lessons so that I can teach it without reading it.  However, the benefits to me are greater than the benefits to my class.
  4. Be sure to include daily applications in the lesson that give practical benefit to applying God’s word to life.
  5. If you desire to have the students participate by having them read the lesson, do not have them read from the curriculum.  Read from the Bible passage from which the lesson is taken.
  6. Be sure that every student participates each time you teach.  This is not only a good practice, it keeps folks awake.
  7. Ask the class questions that are simple to understand and answer.  Don’t try to trick the members.
  8. Expect your class to answer the questions.
  9. Somehow, reward the students who reward by assuring them that they have answered correctly.  Every one of Laura’s answers is “Jesus.”  I ask her questions that will give me that answer.  She loves to participate.
  10. Allow the Holy Spirit to take over the class. His invasion can come in the form of a prayer, a prayer request, an answer to a question or a thousand different ways.  Give way to the Lord if he desire to touch hearts.
  11. Don’t allow one or two people to monopolize the class time by answering all the questions.
This list is only a precursor to the nuts and bolts of how to prepare a lesson.  There is more to come.  To be continued on Monday…
What do you think is important in teaching a class?  What is the optimum size class?  What is the maximum size class?
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