Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lessons I Learned From Cornbread Dressing-Part 3

3. Taste all along the way.
Just because you prepared a Sunday lesson numerous times, never assume you have arrived.  Seasoning really makes good dressing great dressing.  Ask yourself, "What;s happening in the lives of my class members that may cause me to add something different to this week's lesson?"  In order to answer this question I have to know where each class member is spiritually, emotionally and experientially.  Testimonies from class members add the freshness that a great lesson deserves.  Testimonies require early preparation.  If you know of an appropriate testimony from a class member, ask them ahead of time to share part of their story.  If we make each lesson distinctive, class members won't have problem remembering the point of the discussion.  When seasoning, use fresh ingredients.

My Lesson from Cornbread Dressing- Part 2

2. Begin combining dry ingredients.
There are some essential, non-negotiable, parts to good corn bread dressing: hand rubbed sage, white cornbread, and fresh vegetables. When preparing for Sunday's Lesson there are three non- negotiables to preparing to teach God's Word: Pure Mind, Teachable Spirit, Servant's Heart. There are other factors such as study tools, visual aids, or object lessons which help color the final presentation, but the preparer must himself be prepared. Each lesson that is presented to your class takes on the flavor of the preparer's life. You wouldn't think of using a dirty bowl or a filth- crusted spoon to prepare the dressing, but often that is what happens if we ignore the personal preparation. Before combining ingredients, make sure the very purest mind. spirit and heart are first presented to God. Your lesson, whether basic or detailed, will be more palatable to the learner.

More in the next blog...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Lesson from Cornbread Dressing

This year I made some cornbread dressing for my Oldest Son's Fire station in Galveston. Usually Papaw did this, but we couldn't coordinate schedules. I learned a lot about lesson preparation from my experience this year with cornbread dressing.
1. Start with a basic recipe. Before I even approach a Sunday's Lesson, I get a sense of where it appears to be heading. Dad had written a vague list of ingredients and some directions, but I knew what the dressing tasted like in past years and that's what guided me. I knew I needed to start early and gather the ingredients before I even started combining items. Each week, I usually begin lesson preparation on Sunday night or Monday morning. Just reading through the passage and the lesson plan is how I start.

More in the next blog...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Intentional Involvement

How do I involve more class members in the serving/learning experience? For those who chose to sit silent, try handing out pre-made questions about the lessons. Pick questions that require a little more of an answer than "Yes. no, or I dunno." Give each member a sheet with ALL the numbered questions on them. At appropriate times, ask, "Who'll read question 1?" Give time for silence to chose a "volunteer." After they have read the question, give the reader the "right of first refusal" in commenting on the question. They don't have to respond, but offer them this option. After a few times of using this method, you might just demonstrate to some how simple it is to facilitate discussion. You may even discover an apprentice leader.

What about serving? How can I help more people to serve?

Ask this question: "Is there something I am doing that someone else could do?" What about reading announcements? Taking prayer and praise requests? Attendance? Follow-up calls on absentees or guests? Look for ways to share the load rather than hogging the road. Everything we do should be significant. If it isn't, why are we doing it? Give significance by sharing.
Some people aren't leaders because they were never given the opportunity to lead.