We’ve all done it: driving to youth group, flipping through the Bible at every red light, hoping for some spiritual inspiration to hit us before we enter a room of teenagers (and probably church elders) who are expecting us to bring some mind-blowing truth from God’s Word. It rarely works, and even when it does, you leave youth group feeling inside that you could’ve been a better steward of the time and attention that was entrusted to you.
A couple years ago I said that my life is the best small group curriculum I have, and, while that’s still often true, it’s never an excuse to come ill-prepared to a place where God wants to use you to communicate His divine message to students.
Here’s just a couple reasons off the top of my head why it’s best to do your lesson preparation early.
1. You’ll have time to meditate on the lesson so the Holy Spirit can help you tweak it.
2. There’s less of a chance that you’ll hit a mental block.
3. It gives you more time and ability to be creative.
4. You need the time to put the lesson into practice in your own life first before you expect others to do it. Then you’ll teach from your heart instead of from your notes.
5. Teens can tell if you’re prepared or not. When you are, it communicates to them that they’re valuable and they will respect you more for it.
6. Teens will take your Bible study time more seriously if they see that you take it seriously first.
7. Parents and students will be more likely to trust your leadership in other areas of the ministry when you prove to be faithful and consistent in this very significant area of ministry.
8. It’s easier to flow off-script with the Holy Spirit’s promptings when you have a clear understanding of your message as a whole.
9. There’s time to promote the lesson and plug it both during private conversations and in public mass communication.
10. It communicates to everyone that God’s Word is important to you and that teaching it is not a privilege you take half-heartedly.
Posted on April 12, 2010