Teaching youth is a major part of any youth ministry and whether you are teaching yourself or equipping others who will teach, preparation is essential. Follow these steps to be well prepared to teach youth or adults. Being well prepared will help you become a better teacher by freeing your mind from worrying about what is next, how to lead an activity, or how to manage your time. Good preparation cannot be done two hours before the lesson, so learn to set aside time on Monday or Tuesday to begin getting prepared for your lesson on Sunday morning or night.
Ask God to open your heart and mind to what and how to teach your students this week. Ask the Holy Spirit for divine insights into the scripture that will connect the lesson from mind to heart for the young people. Pray for your students that they would hear God’s word.
Knowing your students will help you to select the right activities from the curriculum. Knowing your students will help you know where you need to dive deeper than the curriculum goes or where it goes to deep for where they are in their spiritual journey. If you know their interests, then you can adapt story illustrations or think of other ways to help them live out the lessons in their lives.
At the beginning of the week, read the lesson and become familiar with the activities involved. You should spend some time in personal study and reflection on the scriptures presented so that they are actively shaping your life and thoughts throughout the week. Know your lesson so well that you can lead without constantly looking at your resource book which will greatly help student engagement.
What activities from the curriculum will you use? What questions will you add to the discussion questions to better connect them with your students? How much time will you spend on each activity? Write out or make notes in your curriculum related to all your decisions so they are right in front of you.
Make sure you have together what you need for all the activities in one place. Copies are made. Pens are available. Unusual supplies are purchased or located.
Nothing hinders the flow of teaching than having to stop and set up for an activity. Come early and have things set up in advance so that you are ready to go and all the time with the students can be focused on learning and growing.
Before your lesson, center yourself before God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
All your preparation will make it possible for the best impact. A well-planned lesson will always be better than one thrown together at the last minute.
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