How to get the most out of Sunday School and Bible Study, as used here, is a reference to how to learn those things that will be helpful to you at such a deep level that you actually live by them. The following are tips to help you get the most out of Sunday School and Bible Study:
1. Study the lesson beforehand. Click here for a full article on personal Bible study. Asking what does the passage say, mean, and mean to me with the aid of commentaries, a concordance, and a good study Bible, in a modern translation, will be of great assistance.
Before the study, ask God for understanding. After the study period, ask God to help you live by what you have studied.
2. Bring a notebook and pen to class. To get the most out of the class, take notes of those things that are helpful to you and to those you are striving to minister to. There is nothing wrong with using one notebook for both your personal study of the lesson and the notes that you take in class.
Don't worry about writing full sentences and spelling, while in class. Just jot down some bullets of especially what you should do, in light of the teaching material. And as I said earlier, make notes that you can pass on to others.
3. Ask questions. As you study at home and pay attention in class, ask questions about those things that you have serious questions about. The most important questions are concerned with how to live by the material.
Don't get distracted with Bible trivia (e.g., how many men were in Pharaoh's Army, how many angels are named in the Bible, etc.). Don't ask questions that you already know the answer to or to simply bring attention to yourself.
If the teacher doesn't know the answer, give him or her a break, and let it go. Find someone else, after class, who might be able to help.
4. Seek the best class that can you find. Sometimes we start off in a class because of our relationship with the teacher or the students. However, the greatest motive for being in a class is that you are learning.
No matter how much you like the teacher or students, if you are not learning then you are not getting the most out of the class.
5. Review your notes. To get the most out of the class, make a schedule that works for you, and review your notes. You may review them one week after the lesson, one month after the lesson, three months after the lesson, and then one year.
You may want to sift through your notes and highlight those that are so important that you want to revisit them more frequently. Develop something that works for you. The more you review, the more likely you are to live by the lessons.
6. Strive to live by what you have learned. James 1:22 teaches against just being a hearer of God's word. The goal is to be a doer of God's word. By intentionally seeking what God wants you to do and reviewing what God wants you to do, you increase the likelihood of living by the lesson.
In summary, to get the most out of Sunday School and Bible Study, study at home, keep good notes, ask questions, review your notes, and strive to live by what you have learned.
These tips will help you get so much more out of Sunday School and Bible Study than just showing up (smile). Make sure you visit the full article on the importance of Sunday School attendance.
Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr. uses his doctorate of ministry degree and twenty years of pastoral experience to provide quality and helpful Christian living information to 1,000's of visitors a month.
Make sure you secure your free copy of his ebooklet, "How to Encourage Yourself: 21 Practical Tips," and sign up for his newsletter that features great articles, helpful devotionals, and Bible based teaching notes at www.RobertBaines.com.
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