The Tuesday Study Session!

A few years ago, I was mentoring a new adult Bible study teacher and suggested that we meet each week for an hour to go over the lesson. At first, my friend protested that while he welcomed this one-on-one time with me, he thought I did not have the time to spend with him in this way. I quickly told him that this kind of partnership in study would be just as helpful to me. And so, the Tuesday, 1:00 PM "Study Session" was born. Today, there are four or five of us that weekly commit to this preparation time to get us ready for our Sunday teaching responsibilities.

What do we get out this study time? Several things come to mind...

1. This study session disciplines us to study our lessons earlier in the week to allow the truths of the passage under consideration to season for insights and application. There is nothing worse than procrastinating in our preparation and spending late Saturday night cramming or getting up early Sunday morning with panic setting in just hours before we sit down to teach the Sunday morning lesson. That kind of "preparation" causes anxiety and hurry that may derail the teacher and the lesson at the appointed hour.

The Group:Will, JoAnn, Lew, Linda and Mike
2. We all know the wisdom of the scriptural maxim, "two are better than one." As we sit down together and begin discussing how we are going to handle the passage, ideas begin to flow around the table. We share opinions about interpretations, how we plan to approach the text and what we will emphasize. We bounce ideas off of one another about the best way to apply the passage to our specific classes. We give tips to each other about illustrations and additional resources we have discovered And then we hold hands as we pray together that God will lead us and use us as His instruments of instruction.

3.  In short, we hold each other accountable. We are equally committed to excellence in our teaching efforts. We pray that Christ will be the Master teacher who maximizes our humble preparations and uses them in life transforming ways. We are prepared when we come to the session having read through and around the passage and we have processed each of our teaching resources and helps. The Tuesday study session is limited to one hour, but we are able to make the most of this because we come ready to discuss.

I have been teaching a Bible study class every Sunday for nearly thirty-five years. I have found this to be one of the most rewarding of ways I can serve Christ and His church. As I approached retirement, I shared with friends that I could be happy serving  in the church if they would simply give me a little corner room and allow me to teach a Sunday School class. This is my leading spiritual gift. My joy and highest calling!

Our weekly study session fulfills some of what Paul instructed Timothy as to how to be an approved workman for Christ. This seasoned mentor challenged his young son in the ministry, "Be diligent to present yourself to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15 NASB). If you are a Bible teacher, make time to join a study group or start one! You will be incredibly blessed as you share your preparation time with fellow teachers.

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com

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