Although there are a number of things at work here, such as your own personal Bible study, your personal life, the quality of your support materials (curriculum), and your teaching style; let’s focus on just one area today… illustrations.
You know the kind of illustration here, the one where people hear it and immediately respond with, “Yeah, that’s it!”
An illustration should help the participants put the Bible study into their context so that they can see how a biblical principle applies to their life. A good illustration should take the participant from an event that happened 2,000 or more years ago and make it applicable to today.
So where do you find these kinds of illustrations?
- The curriculum learner guide. I’ve often found that an illustration here often spurs me on to think of another illustration that is even better.
- Josh Hunt has some excellent examples of illustrations (www.joshhunt.com)
Here is another source of illustrations: your personal observations through the week. These illustrations are excellent because they are current and familiar. But they also go beyond to something else. Sharing your personal observations as illustrations helps teach the other people in your group to look for how God is at work in their daily lives and in our daily world.
Here are a couple of suggestions to help you harvest these kinds of illustrations:
- Read and begin studying for your group’s next Bible study early in the week. This helps engage your mind so that as you read something in a book or experience something personally, it will register in your mind that God is teaching you something.
- Write it down! I can not tell you how many great illustrations and experiences I have had where I realized that this was a great truth, only to forget it later because I failed to write it down.
Action item: Read and prepare for this week’s Bible study as early as possible. Engage your mind and make yourself be aware that God is going show you an example of biblical truth this week, and then write it down!