God wants to teach the boys and girls in your ministry from the overflow of what he’s already taught you in your heart. Here’s the problem… many of us find ourselves too busy to seek the flow from God’s Word and end up with a “trickle” instead of the fresh overflow that comes from regular personal Bible study.
There are many benefits from personal Bible study! Personal Bible study:
Strengthens … … in times of fear – Isaiah 41:10; …the weary – Isaiah 40:29-20
Comforts … … in grief – Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 23
Guides … … our daily walk – Psalm 119:105; …us toward success – Joshua 1:7
Provides … … instruction – Psalm 1:1-3; …all my needs – Philippians 4:19
Reveals … … God’s Plan – Jeremiah 29:11
Teaches … … us the truth and freedom – John 8:31-32
Transforms … … the mind – Romans 12:2;
Assures … … of salvation – 1 John 5:13
So, how do you find time in your very busy world for this very important discipline? I love teaching Sunday School and I want to be a good teacher to the kids I lead, so I choose to use the Bible account that I’ll be teaching each week as a guide for my personal Bible study. Each week (when I’m being a really good Bible study teacher) I start early in the week and spend 5-10 minutes a day reading, studying, and considering what God is wanting to teach me. Here’s my plan:
Day 1: Read the text from my Bible. Take your favorite Bible and read the text…even if you know the account, read the text. God wants to speak to you fresh and new every time you read His Word.
Day 2: Read the “Personal/Leader Bible Study” in the leader guide. Take a few minutes on Day 2 to consider what the curriculum provider thinks about the text. In Lifeway’s on-going resources we provide a one-page deeper dive for leaders for each of our sessions.
Day 3: Reread the text in a different translation. If you always read from the KJV then consider on Day 3 reading from the HCSB (or even the other way around). For me, this is where I get out my paraphrased version of the Bible. A paraphrase helps me to hear the text differently and react to the translator’s interpretation.
Day 4: Choose a favorite commentary to read and consider. God has gifted many men and women with a deep understanding of scripture and many have pinned their thoughts into commentaries. I’m simple, so I like a simple commentary, J Vernon McGee’s “Through the Bible.” Find one you like (and understand) and enjoy the deeper dive of their thoughts.
Day 5: Read and review the Bible account, as it will be presented in the session. Go back to your curriculum and read, review, even practice how you will present the Bible account to your kids.
Since 2003 Bill Emeott has served as a Kids Ministry Specialist for Lifeway. His passions include childhood ministry leadership training and development, leading children’s Bible Study, and being an Uncle! Bill has been teaching children at First Baptist Nashville for ten years.