through His Word
By Katy Kauffman
Last Tuesday I introduced three keys to an effective strategy for teaching the Bible: give your group the what, why, and how of any Bible passage. What is Scripture telling us to do or know about the Christian life? Why is this important to live out and remember? And how do we practically apply this to our everyday lives?
If you haven’t read the post about the three keys yet, check them out: A Teaching Strategy that Works: Three Keys to a Life-Shaping Bible Lesson.
This what, why, and how strategy helps your group to understand the meaning of Scripture, be motivated to live it out, and be equipped with practical steps to do it.
How It Works
Let’s take Philippians 4:8, and test our What, Why, and How strategy.
Our verse: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy––meditate on these things. (Phil 4:8 NKJV)
The What – God is telling us in this verse to meditate on, or think on, certain things. Discuss with the group what we’re supposed to meditate on: the eight kinds of things found in this verse. Each word is significant on its own, and together they form a better way of thinking that results in a better way of living. If your group has any trouble with the eight words, ask them what the opposite of the word is. Often the negative can help us understand the positive.
You can find insightful definitions in a Webster’s dictionary (yes, even for Bible study!) or helpful notes at a site like biblestudytools.com. Here are a few definitions if you need them: noble means honorable; just can be defined as fair, lawful, or consistent with God’s ways; and pure is being free from corruption, sin, and guilt.
The Why – Ask the group why focusing on these things would be beneficial to us. Another question to ask: If we thought on the opposite of these things, what effect would it have on us?
The why’s I thought of: Thinking on these good things will help us to keep our minds clean and healthy. They’ll help us to be blameless on the inside, and that will help our words and conduct to be blameless also. Thinking on these good and honorable things will make it harder for Satan to gain a foothold in our minds. They’ll also help to sustain our joy.
The How – Ask your group: How can we think on these things in the midst a world that tempts us to focus on the opposite? What can we practically do to keep our minds on good things? Write their answers on the board if you have one. Brainstorm away!
My how’s: Stay in God’s Word daily. His Word transforms our minds (Romans 12:2), and teaches us how God thinks. Listen to the right kinds of music. Ask your group how much they think music affects their thinking, focus, and mood. Turn off harmful tv shows. Keep good company. Memorize Scripture. Fill your mind with the right stuff, and refuse the wrong stuff at the door of your mind, when it first wants to come in.
Impacting Someone’s Mind, Heart, and Will
When you teach the Bible, inspire your group to live out the truth of God’s Word by appealing to the whole person—mind, heart, and will. Enlighten their minds with the meaning and application of Scripture. Stir their hearts with why the message of God’s Word is worth heeding. Encourage their wills to practice God’s ways by giving them practical steps to do it.
Enlightening someone’s thinking without touching their heart will leave them with knowledge but no passion. Touching the heart without empowering them with practical steps will ignite a flame that will soon die. A balance of what, why, and how is essential for instructing, motivating, and equipping.
© Copyright 2014 by Katy Kauffman
small group Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, Bible teaching, lesson plans, how to teach the Bible, Philippians 4:8, A Teaching Strategy that Works: Test Case, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies