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Teacher Tips

March 3, 2024: Sustaining Our Faith (Jude 17-25)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Dear Friends” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Ask learners to pair up to finish as indicated. After about 10 minutes, bring the class back together to discuss their findings.

Lead into the lesson by saying, “It is good to be able to recognize when a good leader has our best interests at heart. Jude’s words in our lesson today encourage us to remember what we know of God and to remain true to him.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Build Yourselves Up” exercise from the activity page to facilitate creating a plan for implementing Jude 20-21. Pray for the learners as you wrap up class time.

February 25, 2024: Faith in God’s Purpose (Habakkuk 2:1-5)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Praying, but Still Suffering” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Next, distribute copies of the “Personal Prayer from One Who Waits” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less. Give them one minute to jot down thoughts under each of the two headings.

February 18, 2024: Faith in Times of Trouble (Daniel 6:10-11, 14, 16, 19-23, 26-27)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of “My Daily Habits” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have individuals complete it as indicated.

After the activity, lead into the Bible study by saying, “Today we’ll look at a story about a faithful follower of God who would not renege on his convictions or his faithful habits, even though this refusal threatened his very life.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Daniel’s Example and New Testament Teaching” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in groups to discuss.

February 11, 2024: Faith in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3:19-28)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Keys to Context” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs or groups to complete as indicated. Have learners add concepts or notes to the exercise as you discuss the lesson.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Advice for Those Facing Trials” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it in pairs before discussing conclusions with the whole group.

Following the activity, divide the class into pairs. Distribute note cards and pens to each person. Give learners one minute to write down a personal “fiery furnace” they are currently facing. Then, with the help of his or her partner, have each learner write down one way to be a faithful witness to God while dealing with the issue. Encourage the partners to close class by praying for one another that each will be able to act faithfully in the middle of the fiery furnace.

February 4, 2024: Faith in the Power of God (Isaiah 40:12-13, 25-31)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of “The Warning and the Comfort” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work together in groups to complete as indicated. After five minutes, ask for volunteers from each group to share what their group discovered.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “This Is My Father’s World” activity from the activity page. Ask learners to complete the activity as a take-home. To encourage completion, allow time at the beginning of the next class for learners to share insights.

January 28, 2024: Faith and Transformation (Romans 12:3-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Divide participants into groups of three. Distribute copies of the “Common Goal” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups work together to complete the activity as indicated before bringing the groups together to talk about their experiences.

Say, “God has given us value and purpose, but he has also designed us to need each other. In today’s lesson, think about how this truth is especially relevant in the church, among the body of believers.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Badge of Gifts” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete the activity as indicated. Allow time after the pages have been completed for partners to pray for each other. Start next week’s lesson with participants sharing about how they are sharing their gifts to help the church.

January 21, 2024: Faith and Encouragement (2 Chronicles 20:13-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Allow one minute for learners to complete the “Asaph’s Psalm” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Then ask learners to pair up to discuss their results.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Your Song” exercise from the activity page to be completed individually. Encourage learners to refer to their song or poem throughout the week to remember God’s deliverance and faithfulness.

January 14, 2024: Faith and Trust (Proverbs 3:1-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Words of Wisdom” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in one minute or less before comparing responses with a partner.

Say, “Most proverbs help us make good decisions and point us to having positive relationships. Today, as we study the proverbs of Scripture, consider how we can apply their wisdom to our lives of faith and trust in God.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “World’s Way vs. God’s Way” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

January 7, 2024: Faith and Righteousness (Hebrews 11:1-4a, 7a, 8, 17-18, 20-23, 32, 39-40)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute a blank piece of paper and copies of the “What Is Unseen” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to half of the class. Instruct them to find a partner who did not receive the exercise and complete it as indicated. Tell learners who received the exercise to read the instructions carefully without showing the page to their partners.

After the activity, say, “Sometimes it is hard to do things before we have all the information or know how it will end. In today’s lesson,  notice how each person’s actions were evidence of faith.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of “The Hall of Faith” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete the first section with a partner before discussing conclusions in small groups. Then complete the exercise in pairs.

December 31, 2023: The Faith of the Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute the “Baby Gifts” exercise from the activity pages, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions as a whole class.

Say, “As we study today’s lesson, consider how the baby announcement and gifts reveal the child’s importance to the gift-givers and gift-receivers.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Faith in Action” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions in small groups. Challenge them to complete the first step of the activity during class, then complete the rest of the activity throughout the upcoming week. Give individuals the opportunity to share about this experience at the beginning of the next class time.

December 24, 2023: Expectant Mothers’ Faith (Luke 1:36-45, 56)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Baby Talk Translator” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions with a partner.

After the activity, say, “When Mary visited her relative Elizabeth, the unborn baby of Elizabeth reacted when hearing Mary’s voice. In today’s lesson, we will explore the significance of Elizabeth’s response.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Write Your Own Song” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before sharing their prayers of praise with a partner.

December 17, 2023: The Family of Faith (Matthew 1:1-17)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Surprising Ancestors” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work individually on the exercise as indicated for a minute or less before discussing conclusions as a whole group.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Genealogy Puzzle” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it as directed in groups of three.

December 10, 2023: The Faith of David (1 Samuel 17:31-37, 45, 48-50)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Lions, Tigers, and Bears?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it as indicated.

Next, say, “David, as a shepherd boy, was able to expertly fight animals that threatened his flock. Let’s see how he brought down a giant with just one stone.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “David and Goliath Acrostic” exercise from the activity page. Give groups time to complete as indicated before discussing their conclusions as a whole class.

December 3, 2023: The Faith of Ruth (Ruth 1:6-18, 22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “How Do You Shop?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete the exercise as indicated before discussing conclusions as a whole group.

After the activity, say, “Today we’re going to look at the life of Ruth and how love motivated her to take a leap of faith.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “What Would You Give Up?” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions with the class.

After the activity, talk through how Ruth’s courage and faithfulness helped both her and Naomi deal with their situation.

November 26, 2023: Freedom to Edify (1 Corinthians 10:23–11:1

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Just Because You Can” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After time is called, allow time for group discussion.

Explain that today’s Bible study examines how Paul’s message to the Corinthians roots this message in our faith, including our call to be salt and light to others.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “How Shall We Act?” exercise on the activity page. Have learners work in pairs or groups of three to complete as indicated.

November 19, 2023: Freedom from the World (Colossians 2:16-23)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Real or Fake?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions with a partner.

After calling time for the activity, lead into Scripture study by saying, “Today’s lesson will examine Paul’s message to the Colossians regarding wrong assumptions that added to the gospel message.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Stay Connected” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Welcome the sharing of the word clouds at the end of this class or the beginning of the next one.

November 12, 2023: Freedom to Love (Romans 13:8-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Love and Romance” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete as indicated.

After calling time, start a discussion by asking, “How is sacrifice a demonstration of love?” Encourage people to talk about a variety of relationships in this discussion. Transition to the Bible study by saying, “Paul writes to both the Romans and the Corinthians about God’s sacrificial love. Let’s discover how love makes a difference in the lives of those who follow Jesus.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of “The Bible on Love” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After time is called, lead a discussion and write conclusions on the board.

November 5, 2023: Freedom from Expectations (Acts 15:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Which Is Better?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions with a partner.

After the activity, say, “Believers have engaged in other debates that are more significant and harder to resolve. In today’s lesson, let’s consider the significance of an early debate of the first-century church and the implications of that debate for our faith.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Personal Practices” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it as a take-home activity. Remind the class that they will have an opportunity to discuss their responses at the beginning of the next class.

October 29, 2023: Freedom as an Heir (Galatians 3:23–4:7)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What Is Freedom? Part 1” exercise from the activity pages, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing answers with a partner.

After the activity say, “We experience freedom in different ways, depending on who has authority and our relationship to them. In today’s lesson, notice who has true freedom and how that freedom is defined.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “What Is Freedom? Part 2” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

October 22, 2023: Spirit and Flesh (Galatians 3:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Gospel to Abraham” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Instruct partners to work together to complete as indicated. After a few minutes, ask the partners to present their findings for whole-class discussion.

Ask a volunteer to read aloud Galatians 3:10-14. Then have small groups look up Old Testament references Paul included—Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 21:23, 27:26; Habakkuk 2:4—as well as Matthew 5:17-20. Ask, “How do Jesus’ words connect the Old Testament verses with the verses in Galatians 3?” Allow time for group members to discuss before sharing their insights with the whole group. (Possible response: Jesus fulfills the law, so through him we are made righteous.)

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “One in Christ” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete as indicated.

Give learners one minute to write down one way they continue to be motivated by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. Then ask them to brainstorm with a partner how to be open to the Spirit’s presence and leading in the week ahead as they seek opportunities to serve Christ. Have partners pray for each other in these efforts. Encourage them to come to class next week prepared to tell their partner about their experiences in the Spirit.

October 15, 2023: Works and Faith (Galatians 2:11-21)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “A Recipe for Winning Arguments” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Connect this activity with today’s lesson by saying, “Sometimes the arrival of someone new can be an unwelcome disruption. Let’s learn how Paul addresses a situation like this in his letter to the Galatians.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Call and Response Prayer” exercise from the activity page. Complete as a whole class. Encourage learners to refer to this exercise throughout the upcoming week.

After the activity, close class with a time of prayer, asking the Father to reveal any hypocrisies so that they can be repented of and discarded.

October 8, 2023: Old and New (Romans 7:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Still on the Books” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete as indicated. Then discuss the activity as a whole class.

Transition to the Bible st udy by introducing Paul’s discussion of the law’s nature and impact on people.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “World-Record Marriages” activity from the activity page. Have learners discuss conclusions in small groups. Be sensitive to those members of the class who may have experienced loss of a spouse or divorce and remarriage.

October 1, 2023: Inward and Outward (Romans 2:12-24, 28-29)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Right and Wrong Around the World” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Students can work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Following the activity, gather the pairs together. As a whole group discuss what the world might conclude from the fact that people from various religious faiths or no faith at all seem to live generally moral lives. What might society say when those people appear more righteous than Christians?

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Repaired with Gold” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before sharing with a partner. Conclude the lesson with a prayer that learners  would have open hearts that lead their actions throughout the week. Encourage them to watch for opportunities to teach in both word and deed and come to class next week prepared to report on their experiences.

September 24, 2023: Jesus Prevents Two Stonings (John 8:1-11, 39-59)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “When Can You Break the Speed Limit?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to discuss as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Behavior and Motivations” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions with a partner.

Read John 3:16-17. Ask learners to write a prayer of gratitude for escaping condemnation in Christ. Challenge learners to spend time during the week reflecting on their actions.

September 17, 2023: Jesus Glorifies God (John 7:14-24)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Look at the Big Picture” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Ask pairs or small groups to complete the chart as indicated.

Lead to Bible study by saying, “Jesus, the best teacher in the world, was accused of sharing bad information with wrong motives. Let’s see what happened.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Examining the Story” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually in one minute or less before comparing their work with a partner.

September 10, 2023: Jesus Silences Critics (Luke 14:1-6)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:  

Distribute copies of the “Three Meals, One Pattern” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Next, distribute copies of the “Remember the Sabbath” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

September 3, 2023: Jesus Confronts Hypocrisy (Luke 11:37-44)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Movie Script” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated. After 10 minutes, reconvene the groups and ask them to share their results.

Transition to Bible study by saying, “Today’s Scripture describes how Jesus interacted with some religious leaders who were proud of their status as a part of the perceived ‘in’ crowd. As we study, notice Jesus’ reaction to their attitude.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “We Still Have a Problem” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it in pairs before discussing conclusions with the whole class.

Close class with prayer. Begin with a silent time of repentance for hypocritical attitudes. Finish by asking God to reveal to learners how to live in a consistent way that demonstrates God’s love.

August 27, 2023: God’s Kingdom Will Be All in All (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Define Authority?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs or small groups to complete as indicated. After calling time, have volunteers share their responses with the class.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Determining a proper response to authority is a problem for some people. Today’s Scripture shows how this problem is resolved for followers of Jesus.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Main Characters” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After calling time under the activity, ask the following questions for whole-class discussion: 1–What are the roles of Adam, Jesus, and God the Father as described in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28? 2–How is God’s authority demonstrated and explained in this passage?

August 20, 2023: Judgment in the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:1-6, 17-21)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Activity 1: Distribute copies of the “Judging Paul’s Faithfulness” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Activity 2: Distribute copies of the “The Lord, Our Judge” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

August 13, 2023: The Nature of the Kingdom (Romans 14:10-23)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Building and Encouraging Love” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After calling time on the activity, have the class present their findings for discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Weighing All the Angles” activity from the activity page. Have participants complete it individually (in a minute or less) before discussing conclusions in small groups.

August 6, 2023: Inheriting the Kingdom (Galatians 5:13-26)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Acts to Avoid” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Yield to the Spirit” activity from the activity page. Have learners work together in pairs to complete it. After 10 minutes, bring the groups together to discuss their conclusions.

July 30, 2023: Finding and Gathering (Matthew 13:44-52)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of “Kingdom Teaching” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less).

After calling time on the activity, have pairs discuss how easy it can be for people to place value on the wrong things. Transition to the lesson by saying, “Jesus played on people’s inaccurate perceptions of value as he taught them using parables regarding that which has ultimate value.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Inventory of Everything” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before discussing conclusions in small groups, but with no pressure to reveal private information.

July 23, 2023: Weeds Among the Wheat (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Survival Recipes” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “It can be hard for us to judge what things are good and what things are bad, just from outward appearances. Discerning another person’s character and their heart is even more difficult. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about his timing regarding judgment on the hearts of people.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Whole Wheat Living” activity from the activity page. Have participants work in small groups to complete as indicated. If time allows, ask for representatives from each group to state their group’s responses to the questions.

Close class with a prayer asking God to help the class both to grow and be fruitful as wheat in God’s field.

July 16, 2023: The Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Matching Soil” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants work in pairs to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Paradise Gardening Service” activity from the activity page. Allow one minute for learners to complete it.

July 9, 2023: The Kingdom Has Come upon You (Matthew 12:22-32)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of “Seven Deadly Sins?” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Allow volunteers to share with the class how they answered.

Make a transition to the lesson by saying, “Today we are going to study a passage of Scripture that can be difficult to understand. In it we will look at a certain deadly stance toward God and his work.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Arguments Against” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

July 2, 2023: Peace to the Nations (Zechariah 9:9-17)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Attitude of Gratitude” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before revealing the answers.

After calling time on the activity, invite responses to these questions: 1–What does gratitude do for us? 2–How is gratitude connected to worship? Transition by talking about how the group will be studying verses from Zechariah to discover that there is much to rejoice about and be thankful for!

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of “Play by the Rules” exercise from the activity page. Have participants work in groups of three or four to complete as indicated before sharing their rules with the larger group. Allow several minutes for groups to complete this activity.

In the remaining minutes, have participants each write a short prayer rejoicing and thanking God for the many wonderful qualities in Jesus, our king and Messiah.

June 25, 2023: Renewed in God’s Love (Zephaniah 3:14-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Power and Promises” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants work in groups of three or four to complete as indicated. After 15 minutes bring the class together to discuss their findings.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Viral Rejoicing” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs or trios to complete as indicated.

June 18, 2023: God’s Servant-King (Ezekiel 37:21-28)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What’s in a Word?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After the activity, transition to the Bible study. Say, “In this week’s lesson, notice how God brings his people together, gives them a dwelling place, and makes them strong.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “United Forever” activity from the activity page. Have participants work in pairs to complete as indicated. Then bring the class together to discuss how the various puzzle pieces work together. Have learners color in one piece that isn’t an accurate description of his or her experience in God’s kingdom. Ask the partners to pray for one another regarding the growth area(s) they both identified.

June 11, 2023: God’s Kingdom of Peace (Isaiah 65:17-25)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Word Transformation” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. (Option: This exercise can be done as a race. Do as many rounds as time allows.)

After the activity, say, “Transformation often happens in stages, but it can bring about dramatic changes. In today’s lesson, look for the ways God promises to transform his creation.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Reverse the Curse” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in one minute or less) before discussing conclusions with a partner. Allow additional time for pairs to share and discuss their responses and thoughts with the whole group.

June 4, 2023: God Reigns (Isaiah 52:7-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Exciting Announcement” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have pairs complete the exercise as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Good News for Me” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before discussing the sheet in small groups. End with the small groups praying together. Encourage participants to take the handout home to remind them to share the gospel this week.

May 28, 2023: Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:9-17)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Before and After” exercise, which you can download here. Have groups work to complete as indicated.

Another option is to distribute copies of the “Called to Suffering” exercise from the activity page. Have small groups complete as indicated before sharing conclusions with the whole class.

Allow a few minutes for groups to share specific learnings about Saul with the whole class.

May 21, 2023: An Ethiopian Is Baptized (Acts 8:29-40)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Other Old Testament Prophecies” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before discussing conclusions in small groups.

Say, “Today we will consider an unexpected visit by a believer in Jesus to someone who did not understand the gospel.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “One of Several Baptisms” activity from the activity page. Have groups work together to complete as indicated before discussing their answer to the question posed there.

May 14, 2023: Jumping for Joy (Acts 3:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Look Me in the Eye!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work together in pairs to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Signs of the Times” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete the activity in small groups before discussing conclusions with the whole class.

After the activity, distribute an index card and a pen to each learner. Have them write a prayer for the following needs: 1–Clarity for how to best meet the perceived needs of people in the community. 2–The desire to share the gospel with the people of your community. 3– Discernment to know how to do both.

Encourage learners to place these prayers in a visible location where they will be seen throughout the upcoming week.

May 7, 2023: The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-8, 14-24, 37-39)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Baptism in Scripture” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Power, Power!” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete the activity in pairs before discussing answers in whole-class discussion.

After calling time for the activity, distribute index cards and pens to each learner. Ask learners to write a prayer based on the following prompt:

Lord, help me be attentive to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Empower me through the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus boldly this week as I . . .

Encourage learners to place the cards in a location where they will notice the prayers throughout the week.

April 30, 2023: Jesus Makes a Promise (Acts 1:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “In the Cloud” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Have pairs share with the whole class their answers to the last two questions.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Circles of Influence” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

End class by placing learners in pairs and having them pray for guidance for how they might rededicate themselves to the work that Jesus has given them to accomplish the gospel mandate.

April 23, 2023:Jesus Reinstates Peter (John 21:15-19)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Divide the class into small groups. Distribute copies of the “Sheep, Sheep, Shepherd” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in one minute or less before discussing questions with small groups. Bring the groups back together before transitioning to the Bible study by saying, “In today’s lesson we’ll discover what Peter learned about being a shepherd.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Revised Hollywood Ending” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete as indicated.

April 16, 2023: Jesus Cooks Breakfast (John 21:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Word for Word” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in one minute or less before discussing in small groups. Transition to the Bible study by saying, “Today’s lesson will show us how the concepts of trust, belief, faith, and obedience are interrelated.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “I See Jesus” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it as directed.

After the activity, invite learners to write a prayer for eyes to recognize Jesus at work. Encourage participants to refer to their prayer throughout the week.

April 9, 2023: Disciples Believe the Resurrection (Luke 24:13-27, 30-31)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Did It Happen?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After completing the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “Last week’s lesson was the first of two parts. This week we’ll continue the story and consider how some of Jesus’ followers were provided with an unexpected corrective.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Extra! Extra!” exercise from the active page, which you can download. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After 10 minutes, have pairs present their articles to the whole class.

April 2, 2023: The Empty Tomb (Luke 24:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Multiple Lenses” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in groups of four to complete as indicated.

After the activity, transition to Bible study by saying, “Today’s Scripture will examine the nature of human expectations and the reality of when those expectations are not met—for the better!”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “What’s the Story?” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in groups to complete as indicated.

March 26, 2023: Jesus Overpowers Legion (Mark 5:1-13, 18-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “The Ultimate Spiritual Makeover” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete as directed in one minute or less before discussing with their small groups.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Before and After” activity page to each participant. Encourage them to take it home to complete this week. Ask volunteers to be prepared to share their testimonies at the beginning of the next lesson.

Divide the class into small groups. Encourage learners to discuss a plan for sharing their “before and after” testimonies with at least one person this week.

Conclude class time by praying for opportunities, courage, and wisdom to share these testimonies. Be sure to allow time next week for learners to share their experience.

March 19, 2023: Jesus Talks with a Samaritan (John 4:7-15, 28-30, 39-41)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Divide learners into small groups. Distribute the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. After allowing a couple of minutes for groups to complete as directed, reveal the correct answers.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Evangelistic Elements” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated. Not all answers need to be filled out. Encourage participants to finish the sheet at home during the week, to be discussed at the beginning of class next week.

Conclude by reading aloud John 4:42 and having small groups pray that their witness would have this effect on others.

March 12, 2023: The Greatest in the Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-9)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Divide participants into three groups. Distribute copies of the “What to Remove” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups work to complete as indicated.

After the activity, lead into the Bible study by saying, “Being ‘like a child’ can mean different things. In today’s text from Matthew, we consider which of these ideas Jesus meant when he was teaching his followers.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Humble Behavior” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before dividing into pairs. Give pairs time to pray for each other’s plan to show humility throughout the week.

At the beginning of the next lesson, ask volunteers to share what happened when they practiced humble behavior during the week.

March 5, 2023: The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Would You Rather?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less before discussing conclusions in whole-class discussion.

After the activity, lead into the Bible study by saying, “All decisions have consequences. As we read the parable in today’s Scripture, consider how your decisions would be similar to or different from the decisions made by each character.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Option 1: Distribute copies of the “If You Ask Me” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete prompts 1 and 2. After one minute, discuss responses in whole-class discussion.

Have the groups read Luke 15:14-19 and write a second diary entry based on their character’s perspective in these specific verses. Encourage groups to creatively consider the consequences of their character’s decisions. After several minutes, ask a volunteer from each group to read their group’s diary entry to the whole class.

Option 2: Have learners complete prompts 3 and 4 on the “If You Ask Me” activity page. After one minute, invite volunteers to share their responses and explain how the responses are similar to or different from the parable’s narrative.

Have the groups read Luke 15:20-24 and write a third diary entry based on their character’s perspective in these specific verses. Encourage groups to consider their character’s treatment of the other character, given what feelings and beliefs might have been behind the actions. After several minutes, ask a volunteer from each group to read their group’s diary entry to the whole class.

Option 3: Have participants complete prompts 5 and 6 on the “If You Ask Me” activity page. After one minute, invite volunteers to share their responses and how the responses best connect with the characters or events of the parable.

February 26, 2023: Results of the Call (1 Peter 2:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Which Category?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students complete it as directed.

After the activity, say, “Our identity is composed out of many facets of personality and experience. In today’s text, Peter gives us metaphors for categories that help us better understand our identity as Christians.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Set Apart” activity from the activity page. Encourage students to finish the activity as a take-home.

February 19, 2023: Responsibility of Those Called (James 2:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of “The Dangers of Favoritism” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After the activity, give the group time to talk about favoritism. Lead into the Bible study by saying, “Favoritism can be dangerous to society and in our own lives. In today’s text, James gives us a warning against allowing favoritism within the church.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Welcoming Newcomers” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in a minute or less) before discussing conclusions in small groups.

After calling time, have small groups talk about how you, as a church, might improve in not showing favoritism in your congregation. Close with a prayer.

February 12, 2023: Reminder of the Call (2 Timothy 1:3-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “A Marvelous Mentor” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After calling time, have groups present their findings in whole-class discussion. Use the commentary to correct misconceptions.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Hold Fast” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After the activity, hand out index cards and pens. Invite learners to write out how they can be encouraged throughout the next week to hold fast to the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus. Then close with prayer.

February 5, 2023: Résumé of Those Called (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Word Web” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated.

After calling time for the activity, have groups present their findings in whole-class discussion. Conclude the activity by asking, “Why do the implications of the cross seem foolish to some people?”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Praying for Wisdom” activity from the activity page. Have students complete the activity as indicated (in a minute or less) before sharing with a partner.

January 29, 2023: God Promises His Presence (Joel 2:21-27)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Hope Quotes” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After calling time for the activity, have students present their findings to the class. Then ask the following questions as part of whole-class discussion: 1–How do you define hope? 2–Why is hope important? 3–When is having hope difficult? 4–What happens when people give up hope?

Lead into the lesson by saying, “Today’s Scripture text was written to people who needed hope that God’s presence would be evident. We’ll examine the prophet’s message and consider how helpful his message was to them and to us.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Hope’s Foundation” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. (This exercise will be more time-consuming than it appears at first glance.) After 10 minutes, ask pairs to share their paraphrases with the whole class.

January 15, 2023: God Promises to Guide (Isaiah 48:3-8a, 17)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of “The Googles Know” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Discuss conclusions as a group. Say: “While technologies may seem to ‘know’ us, today’s passage illustrates how nothing is hidden from God and that only he controls and reveals the future—at his pleasure.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Win or Learn” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it individually (in one minute) before discussing conclusions in small groups.

January 8, 2023: God Promises to Restore (Isaiah 43:1-4, 10-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Fear-o-Phobia” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. As time allows, ask learners to talk about how faith can help people overcome their fears.

After the activity, say, “In today’s text, Isaiah shares promises God gave to Israel, and us, to help calm fears.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “God’s Protection” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete as indicated.

After the activity, read Isaiah 43:1, replacing the words “O Jacob” and “O Israel” with a pause. Ask learners to silently say their own names in place of the pause.

January 1, 2023: God Promises to Hear and Forgive (2 Chronicles 7:12-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “A Holy Place” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually (in one minute) before sharing their creations with a partner. As a whole group, discuss what is required for a place to be considered holy. Continue the discussion by asking, “Why do we seek sacred spaces?”

After the activity, say, “With God’s approval and guidance, Solomon built the temple, and with God’s presence it became a holy place to worship and pray to God. But consequences would follow if the people forsook their faithfulness to him.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Read through today’s passage aloud once. Distribute copies of the “If/Then Covenant” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. (This exercise may be more time-consuming than it appears at first glance.) Then reconvene the whole class to discuss their work.

December 25, 2022: Mary Rejoices (Luke 1:46-55)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Awards Show” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually in a minute or less. Ask volunteers to share their responses to the final question.

After the activity, transition to the lesson by saying, “Although Mary was shown favor by God, she did not brag about herself at all. Instead, she praised God for the work that he had done.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Song of Praise Template” exercise from the activity page. Assign this as a take-home activity. To encourage completion, ask learners to consider sharing their completed songs at the beginning of the next class.

December 18, 2022: John the Baptist Appears (Luke 3:2b-6, 15-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Always Be Prepared” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in groups to complete as indicated.

Transition into the Scripture text by saying, “In today’s Scripture, notice how John the Baptist introduced people to the Lord and how he answered their questions regarding the Lord’s identity.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Relating to Jesus” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After calling time, invite pairs to share their responses to the last question. Encourage everyone to share their metaphors with a neighbor during the upcoming week and be prepared to report on the experience at the beginning of the next class.

December 11, 2022: Zechariah Speaks (Luke 1:57-66, 76-79)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What’s in a Name?” activity from activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After calling time on the activity, say, “Sometimes a name’s significance is in its meaning. Other times its significance is related to our experiences with people who have that name—no matter how fair or accurate those perceptions are. In today’s lesson, consider how the name John was significant for Elizabeth and Zechariah.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Prophecies” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After calling time, ask how Zechariah’s prophecy showed God’s faithfulness and prepared the hearts of the people to receive the Lord.

December 4, 2022: Zechariah Hears from God (Luke 1:8-20)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “An Astonishing Story” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete the exercise as indicated.

After the activity, say, “Communicating without speaking words is a challenge. In today’s lesson, we will consider how Zechariah’s inability to speak was both a punishment and an expression of mercy.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Baby Announcement” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated.

November 27, 2022: God Gives Tools for Our Protection (Ephesians 6:10-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Seeking Security” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Allow time for group discussion.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “The apostle Paul uses the imagery of a suit of armor to show how God protects believers from evil.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Dress Me in Armor” activity from the activity page. Allow one minute for participants to complete the exercise.

November 20, 2022: We Are God’s Handiwork (Ephesians 2:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Rich in Mercy” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. Allow time for group discussion before continuing with the next part of the lesson.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Pass It On” exercise on the activity page. Allow one minute for the quick brainstorming exercise. Have individuals share their commitments with a partner for accountability.

After calling time for the activity, end the lesson with a prayer time, praising God for the love and grace experienced in being God’s workmanship.

November 13, 2022: Christ Is Wisdom (Ephesians 1:15-23)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Mission Accomplished?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After several minutes of work time, invite volunteers to share what they’ve discovered.

After calling time for the activity, say, “Today we’ll look at how Paul encourages Christians to do God’s work.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Show Me the Love” activity from the activity page. Have students work in pairs to complete the chart and action plan. It is important to follow up on this activity next week. Make a plan to discuss (at that time) ways they saw God at work through their initiatives. Remind students to be prepared for this discussion. Then remember to praise and thank God together for the blessings—and to commit to God’s care anything that did not turn out as expected.

November 6, 2022: God Picked You! (Ephesians 1:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Winning Qualities” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow three minutes for pairs to complete the activity.

After the activity, discuss how our criteria for choosing a winner or determining success affects how we see ourselves and how we interact with others. Consider pressures as well as possible positive outcomes of a culture focused on winning awards. Wrap up by saying, “Today’s lesson allows us to expand beyond a popular worldview and think about who we are in Christ.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Adopted in Christ” exercise from the activity page. Allow a minute for students to work individually; then let them work together to complete the puzzle. Discuss ideas for how to implement this message into their lives this week when they are faced with challenges.

Plan time during next week’s lesson to see how learners are dealing with their challenges from the perspective of being God’s children. Close with a prayer of praise for adoption into Christ’s family.

October 30, 2022: David Anointed as King (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Samuel’s Tough Assignment” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs or small groups to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Leaders You Know” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work independently for one minute before working with others in groups of three to complete the activity.

After the activity, end with sentence prayers from class members asking God to help them develop a clean heart and eyes of faith, as well as the specific qualities they wrote down. You may ask students to jot down their prayers on their sheets. Plan time next week to talk about how God is working to develop godly leadership qualities in your learners.

October 23, 2022: Who Is King? (1 Samuel 8:4-7; 1 Samuel 10:17-24)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Diary of an Old Man” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work together to complete as indicated. After a few minutes, invite volunteers to read what they’ve written.

After completing the activity, have the class draw conclusions about how Israel’s choices reflected their relationship with God and his standards.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “What Do You Say?” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete it in pairs before discussing conclusions as a whole class.

October 16, 2022: The Call of Gideon (Judges 6:1-2, 7-16a)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Close the class by distributing copies of the “Help!” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Allow one minute for participants to complete as indicated individually before voluntary sharing. Or use this activity as a take-home prayer prompt for the week ahead.

Also, distribute copies of the “Called to Rescue” crossword puzzle on the activity page as a take-home.

October 9, 2022: Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:3-6, 10-14, 18)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Goodness and Rebellion” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups work together to complete the activity as indicated before discussing their findings with the whole class.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Images of Praise” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated. After five minutes, have volunteers give their answer to the third prompt on the activity.

October 2, 2022: The Birth of Moses (Exodus 2:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “An Unforgettable Day” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

After calling time for the exercise, have groups present their findings for whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Decisions, Decisions” activity from the activity page. Because of the personal nature of the activity, students may wish to complete this as a take-home.

September 25, 2022: The Scepter Given to Judah (Genesis 35:22b-26; 38:12-19, 24-26; 49:8-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Jacob’s Family” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

Next, distribute copies of the “Family Tree” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it as indicated, in small groups. After no more than five minutes, ask for volunteers to share their group’s insights from the discussion questions.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 18, 2022: Jacob Called Israel (Genesis 32:22-32)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “What’s in a Name?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After 10 minutes, provide the correct answers for the class and ask volunteers to share their answers to the final three questions.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Count Your Blessings” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. To encourage completion, promise to discuss the results at the beginning of the next class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 11, 2022: God Chooses the Younger Twin (Genesis 25:19b-34)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Get What You Want” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete all four rows.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of “The Situation” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete it with a partner.

Close class with a prayer based on Psalm 75, a psalm composed to provide reassurance of God’s victory. Begin the prayer by reading verse 1 aloud. Allow students to pray silently regarding the conflicts they may face, asking God for his wisdom. End the prayer by reading verse 9 aloud.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 4, 2022: The Call of Abram (Genesis 12:1-7; 15:1-7)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “God’s Promises Fulfilled” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated. After 10 minutes, ask volunteers to share their conclusions.

After the activity, make the transition to Into Life by saying, “The narrative of Abram can inform us greatly regarding obedience and emboldened faith. The next practice will demonstrate how today’s Scripture passage is more than a good story for us to read.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Emboldened and Obedient” activity from the activity page. Have learners complete the activity individually in a minute.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 28, 2022: A Welcoming Invitation (Revelation 22:10-21)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For deeper study on the titles of Jesus, distribute copies of the “Who Was/Is Jesus?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Digging into the distinction between “meaning” and “significance” (as in lesson 11) will result in a much deeper study.

To encourage personal application:

As class wraps up, distribute copies of the “Come, Lord Jesus” exercise from the activity page as a take-home.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 21, 2022: The River of Life (Revelation 22:1-7)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For cross-passage comparison, distribute copies of the “The Source of Life” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups work to complete as indicated. After groups finish, discuss conclusions as a class.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the exercise “The Promise of Hope” from the activity page for participants to complete in pairs as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 14, 2022: A New City (Revelation 21:10-27)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place in chairs (or distribute via e-mail) before learners arrive the “Gems” word-search puzzle from the activity page, which you can download here. Your early arrivers can work on this before class begins.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For extra study on meaning and significance (and the difference between those two terms), distribute copies of the “Meaning and Significance” exercise from the activity page to your triads, to be completed as indicated. After several minutes, reconvene for whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 7, 2022: A New Home (Revelation 21:1-9)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

To focus on the “symbol” aspect of the first set of tasks, distribute copies of the “Words as Depictions” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Learners can work on this in study pairs, or they can use it as a note-taker as you work through the text. It should not be used for individual in-class study.

Another option for exploring symbolic language further is to distribute copies of the “Here Comes the Bride” exercise from the activity page, to be completed as  above.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 31, 2022: The Word Gives Peace (John 14:15-29)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the two exercises on the activity page, which you can download here. Do both parts of the Inductive study activity in groups.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 24, 2022: The Word Resurrects (John 11:17-27, 38-44)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “(Mis) conceptions About Death” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants work in pairs to complete as indicated. After five minutes, reconvene for whole-class sharing of insights regarding the stages of life. Do not discuss the compare/contrast with 1 Corinthians 15 at this point; save that for Into the Word.

After the above, lead into Bible study by saying, “Even though we may not want to think about it, death is a regular part of life. But that won’t always be the case. Let’s see why.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Return to the “(Mis)conceptions About Death” activity to compare and contrast the stages-of-life views of death with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 17, 2022: The Word Saves (John 12:44-50)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Light and Dark” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Light Meter” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated. After no more than five minutes, have volunteers give their answers to the third question on the handout.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 10, 2022: The Word Heals (John 4:46-54)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of “Significant Miracles” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After 10 minutes, ask volunteers to share their findings.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Seeking God’s Power” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 3, 2022: The Word Becomes Flesh (John 1:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Word/Creator/Light” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it individually before discussing conclusions in small groups.

Divide the class into pairs and distribute copies of the “A Witness to the Light” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. After calling time under either activity, have groups or pairs present their findings in whole class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 26, 2022: God Offers Deliverance (Isaiah 51:1-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute the “What Are You Searching For?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow learners one minute to individually find as many words related to today’s lesson as they can before allowing them to work in pairs for a few minutes longer. Allow time briefly to discuss the final answer together.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After the activity, say, “In today’s lesson, we will see how God turns his people’s focus in different directions to help them become oriented to who he is and who he has called them to be.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into four small groups. Distribute to each group the “Look Around!” exercise from the activity page. Ask the groups to study and discuss the verses together, completing as directed. Then bring the class back together to discuss further.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 19, 2022: God’s People Shall Prosper (Isaiah 49:18-23)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Bedtime Story” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed as directed alone or in pairs. Bring the class together and allow volunteers to read their completed stories before discussing the questions together as a class.

After the activity say, “In today’s lesson we’ll explore the promises God made to his people and how they responded.”

To encourage personal application:

Bring the original pairs from the first activity back together. Ask them to discuss what evidence of the Lord’s faithfulness and redemption they saw in the reunion they described. If none, ask them to imagine how the experience would have been different if God’s work had been more evident in that gathering. Allow volunteers to share with the class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 12, 2022: God Foretells of Redemption (Isaiah 49:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “Acceptance Speech” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Ask pairs to complete only the “Servant’s Speech” column for now.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After the activity, ask groups to briefly summarize their responses for the whole group. Allow time for discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute one “Servant Leader” exercise from the activity page to all the learners. Give them one minute to consider the activity before pairing up. Tell them their new partner is their accountability partner for the week to encourage them to do what they have brainstormed.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 5, 2022: God Foretells Destruction (Isaiah 47:10-15)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Advice in the Stars?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Encourage class members to work in pairs to complete as indicated. Invite volunteers to share their responses with the group.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Am I Safe?” exercise on the activity page and allow the pairs to use Part 1 to help them keep track of their answers. Gather the class together to discuss their answers.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 29, 2022: The Fruit of Freedom (Galatians 5:16-26)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “What Kind of Fruit?” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs to complete the activity as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After calling time for the activity, have each group present their findings for whole-class discussion. Use the lesson commentary to correct misconceptions regarding the Spirit’s fruit.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Read All About It!” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete the activity as indicated. After 10 minutes, have each group share their findings.

End class with a prayer asking God to help each class member demonstrate the Spirit’s fruit in the coming week.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 22, 2022: Freedom, Love, and Faith (Galatians 5:1-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Love Your Neighbor” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners divide into pairs and complete the activity as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Who’s My Neighbor?” exercise from the activity page. Encourage everyone to complete the activity at home, as directed, and be prepared to share their experiences with the class at the start of next week’s time.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 15, 2022: Freedom and the Law (Galatians 3:18-29)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into three groups. To each group distribute copies of the “What About Baptism?” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups complete the activity as indicated. Ask a volunteer from each group to share their final definition.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Adopted to a New Life” exercise on the activity page as a take-home. As a motive to complete it, state that you will begin the next class session by reviewing volunteers’ results.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 8, 2022: Freedom for the Future (Romans 8:18-30)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute the “Prayer Requests” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed as directed. After one minute, ask volunteers to share their responses, especially to the final question.

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “Life can be difficult. But Jesus offers hope in all situations. Today we’ll examine one passage that explores this idea.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “Patterns in God’s Will” exercise from the activity page, to be completed in pairs (or small groups) as directed. Bring the class back together after 15 minutes to discuss what they found. Supplement their answers with information from the lesson commentary as needed.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 1, 2022: Freedom from Sin (Romans 6:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “Romans Vocabulary Puzzle” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed in pairs as directed. After 10 minutes, reconvene the class to discuss the concepts raised in the puzzle.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “His Resurrection and Our New Life” exercise from the activity page. Have the students complete this exercise in pairs according to the instructions. Reconvene the class to discuss.

Close in prayer, thanking God for freedom in Christ.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 24, 2022: Freedom in the King (John 8:31-38)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the whole class into four groups. Distribute to each group a copy of the “Roles and Expectations” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups complete the activity as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute to each learner a copy of the “Word Web” activity page. Encourage everyone to complete the activity at home, as directed, and be prepared to share with the class at the start of next week’s time together.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 17, 2022: Resurrection of the King! (Matthew 28:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “Declaration and Command” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed in pairs as directed.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “He Arose!” exercise from the activity page. Play a recording of the song “Up from the Grave He Arose” (available on the internet) and encourage participants to sing along with the chorus. Ask learners to jot down any words or phrases in the song lyrics that are most meaningful to them. Allow time for volunteers to share how the words are meaningful in their testimony.

Close the class by playing “Because He Lives” or another resurrection song and encouraging the class to sing along. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for his sacrifice and for all the reasons he has given us to overcome our fears. Ask for his help in faithfully calling others to him.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 10, 2022: Passover with the King (Matthew 26:17-30)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute to pairs “The Passover Lamb” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have them complete as directed before allowing groups to share their responses.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Remember!” exercise from the activity page. Encourage learners to complete the activity at home, as directed, and be prepared to share with the class at the start of next week’s time.

Close the class with a prayer of thanksgiving for Jesus’ sacrifice and for the meal that we still eat in his memory.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 3, 2022: Triumphal Entry of the King (Matthew 21:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute the “Monarch for a Day” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow learners one minute to work individually before pairing up to complete the activity and discuss.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After the activity, say, “Important people often are given special treatment. Today we will look closely at a story about how Jesus chose to present himself and the way others received him.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Who Is This?” exercise from the activity page to be completed according to the instructions. Encourage participants to take the exercise home this week, pray over it, and write down their responses. Also ask them to bring it back to share with the whole group next week.

Close the class by playing “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (available on the internet) or another appropriate song. Give thanks in prayer for Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 27, 2022: Free Because of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute the “Looking Backward/Looking Forward” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to pairs of participants.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

When they have completed both Part A and Part B of the exercise, ask them to discuss the results as a whole class and summarize what they notice about God’s character—in both the past and the future. (Possible conclusions may be: God always provides what is needed; God’s provision is abundant and gracious; God cares about the physical well-being and prosperity of his people.)

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “Remember” activity page to each participant as a take-home to be completed as indicated.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 20, 2022: Free to Celebrate (Ezra 6:13-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Holiday Matching” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete the activity as indicated.

Lead into the Bible study by saying, “Significant moments are worth remembering and celebrating. Today we will look at a long-awaited moment in the history of God’s people, and how they responded in celebration.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the whole class into small groups of two or three people. Distribute copies of the “Compare and Contrast” exercise from the activity page. Ask groups to complete the activity as indicated. After a few minutes, invite groups to share what they found.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 13, 2022: Free to Worship (Ezra 6:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Rebuild and Redeem” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete the activity as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “God’s Resources” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in pairs to complete Part 1 but work independently on Part 2. Ask learners to consider sharing their responses to Part 3 at the beginning of the next lesson. Conclude class by praying for opportunities to grow in trust of God’s faithfulness and promises.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 6, 2022: Freed from Captivity (Ezra 1:1-8, 11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Famous Projects” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work individually or in pairs to complete as indicated in less than one minute.

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “Today’s lesson from the Old Testament repeats itself in the New Testament in certain ways. See if you can remember passages as we go.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of Parts A and B of the “Construction Proposal” exercise from the activity page. Depending on the size and nature of your group, the questions can be discussed in small groups or as a whole class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 27, 2022: Job and the Just God (Job 42:1-6, 10-17)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of Image 1 of the “New Perspective” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants guess what it depicts (answer: grain of sand). Then distribute copies of Image 2 and let participants know that the subject matter is the same thing. Finally, distribute copies of Image 3 and pose the following two questions to the whole group. (Do not state both questions together; allow responses to the first question before posing the second.)

  1. Why did the grain of sand seem so big and important in Image 1?
  2. When did it become clear that you were looking at mere sand?

Invite participants to give other examples of things (or experiences) that become clearer as one “zooms out” or see the bigger picture.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “A Sincere Prayer” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete in study pairs.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 20, 2022: Bildad Misspeaks God’s Justice (Job 8:1-10, 20-22)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Form learners into study pairs and announce a closed-Bible pop quiz. Distribute copies of the “Fact-Check the Speech” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow a few minutes for the pairs to complete as directed. When pairs are finished, have them score their own work.

For a deeper study of defective beliefs that Christians sometimes embrace, distribute copies of the “Say What?” exercise from the activity page. Form learners into study pairs or triads to complete it as indicated. After subsequent whole-class discussion, ask if participants have more entries for the list.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 13, 2022: Ezra and the Law (Ezra 7:1-10, 23-26)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Have someone read Ezra 7:23-26 aloud. Use the “Job Description” handout from the activity page of lesson 8, which you can download here. Ask what challenges and rewards Ezra might have experienced.

To encourage personal application:

Read aloud Nehemiah 8:1-6 to show the response to Ezra’s teaching. Distribute copies of “The Effects of God’s Word” and/or “Looking Forward” exercises from the activity page as take-homes.

February 6, 2022: Nathan Condemns David (2 Samuel 12:1-9, 13-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute to study pairs copies of the “Saul vis-á-vis David” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Instruct learners to compare and contrast the two accounts as they complete the exercise as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Psalm 51” exercise from the activity page, which you can download, to be completed as a take-home.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 30, 2022: Justice and the Marginalized (Deuteronomy 24:10-21)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Color Coding” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, as a take-home activity. To encourage completion, promise to discuss results and insights gained at the beginning of next week’s class.

Distribute copies of the “Examples to Follow” exercise as a take-home activity. To encourage completion, say that you will ask for volunteers next week to share how this exercise challenged or inspired them. Promise also to discuss how the class as a whole can respond in a practical way.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 23, 2022: Justice, Judges, and Priests (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Job Description” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow groups of three to four to work through the activity as directed. After 10 minutes or so, have groups compare and contrast their documents in the ensuing whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

If you used the “Job Description” exercise above, distribute copies of the “Personal Statement” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. To encourage its completion, state that you will call for results at the beginning of the next class session.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 16, 2022: Justice and Fairness (Exodus 23:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the whole group into small groups of two or three. Distribute copies of the “To Do or Not to Do” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have all groups complete the entire activity and then compare results. (Alternative. Assign each group a section of the activity to complete.) Share results in the ensuing whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Who Is My Neighbor?” exercise from the activity page. Spend a few minutes in group discussion clarifying the categories. Challenge participants to take the page home to reflect on and respond to during the week. State that participants should be prepared to discuss the results of this activity during the next class session.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 9, 2022: Injustice and Hope (Genesis 21:8-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Have participants choose a partner as you distribute copies of the “Relationship Dynamics” exercise from the activity page, which you can  download here. After pairs complete the exercise, reconvene for whole-class discussion.

For deeper study and possible input for the exercise above, distribute copies of the “Hagar and God” exercise from the activity page to complete together. Allow time for whole-group discussion and insights.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 2, 2022: Justice, Vengeance, and Mercy (Genesis 4:1-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Crossroads” exercise from the activity page, which you can  download here. Have students work in groups of two or three to complete as directed. After a few minutes, reconvene for whole-class discussion of conclusions.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Anger Two Ways” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. Suggest that some volunteers come to the next class prepared to share what they learned through this activity.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 26, 2021: Justice and Deliverance (Nahum 1:1-3, 6-8, 12-13, 15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

distribute instead copies of the “Our Just God” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students complete the exercise in their groups. Discuss results. The “Good News” exercise from the activity page can be used after either alternative for expanded consideration.

To encourage personal application:

Ask students to use the blank side of one of the handouts to write a commitment prayer about living for God in the new year. Direct them to consider words, phrases, and ideas from today’s text. State that you will offer opportunities for sharing results with the class as a whole, but you will not put any on the spot to do so. Offer that opportunity after no more than one minute to jot down thoughts for their individual prayers.

Close the class with sentence prayers, led by volunteers (possibly recruited in advance) to voice specific individuals (named or unnamed) who need to hear the message of justice (wrath to come) alongside the message of restoration offered through Christ (forgiveness). You as teacher can offer the last of the prayers to wrap up.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 19, 2021: Justice and Righteousness (Isaiah 9:2-7)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Looking at the Light” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “No Santa” exercise from the activity page. Have students work individually for one minute before comparing their cards with others in ensuing whole-class discussion. For each sentiment, ask the class, “Why is this message so important for our world today?”

Close with a prayer of thanks for Jesus, whose rule is a reason to celebrate not only at Christmas but always for those who have submitted to him as Lord.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 12, 2021: Justice and Kindness (Samuel 9:1-7, 9-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class, place at each chair or distribute electronically a copy of the “Why Be Kind?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Students can begin work on as they arrive.

Make a transition by saying, “How are kindness and justice connected? David’s actions today give us some insight into this question.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “www.Ziba&Mephibosheth.edu?” exercise from the activity page. Allow study pairs several minutes to complete the activity before whole-class sharing.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 5, 2021: Justice and Obedience (Deuteronomy 5:1b-3; 10:12-13; 27:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Hear Here” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Complete the activity together.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Doing What God Wants” exercise from the activity page as a take-home devotional work. Close with five prayers that ask God’s help in heeding the five admonitions listed in the take-home activity, one request per prayer.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 28, 2021: Good News for All (Acts 10:34-47)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Broken Barriers” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Announce a one-minute time limit to complete as indicated. Have participants discuss their entries and adjust their lists as desired.

Another option is to distribute copies of the “Who Is My Gentile?” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. Promise to discuss results next week.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 21, 2021: Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:1-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Weddings” icebreaker exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Award a token prize to the participant who collects the most affirmations. After the activity, make a transition by noting that today’s lesson may challenge our view of how weddings “should” be.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “OT in NT” matching exercise from the activity page. Announce a speed drill for individuals to complete the exercise as indicated, time limit of one minute. Have learners raise a hand when finished. After calling time, allow learners to correct their own work. Give a token prize suitable to the nature of the exercise to the participant who raised his or her hand first and has all answers correct. Discuss what significance learners see in the Old Testament allusions to the verses from Revelation 19.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 14, 2021: God of Power (Revelation 11:15-19)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Before doing the preceding activity, have learners gain a broader perspective on the book of Revelation by completing the “The Perfect Number” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. This is individual work; time limit of one minute. Give a token gift featuring the numeral 7 to learners who get all 14 correct answers.

Another option is to distribute copies of the “How Long?” exercise from the activity page. Assign groups of four to prepare their conclusions for whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 7, 2021: United in Praise (Revelation 7:9-17)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Extend the Into the Word study by distributing copies of the “Power and Authority” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have groups complete it as indicated to contribute to ensuing whole-class discussion.

Another option is to distribute copies of the “Nothing but the Blood” exercise from the activity page for one minute of individual work. Award a token prize to the first to finish correctly.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 31, 2021: Praise God for His Greatness (Psalms 149:1-5; 150)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

As learners depart, give each a copy of the “Praise God Anyway!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. To encourage its completion as a take-home exercise, promise to discuss results at the outset of next week’s class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 24, 2021: Praise God for His Presence (Psalm 84)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For a broader and deeper consideration of God’s presence and dwelling place, distribute copies of the “Where God Dwells” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Allow study pairs or triads to complete it as indicated for ensuing whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Heart Test” journal from the activity page as learners depart. Challenge them to log entries three times daily in the coming week. Promise to discuss results when the class meets again.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 17, 2021: Praise God for Past Deliverance (Psalm 107:1-9, 39-43)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For a deeper and broader look at Psalm 107, distribute copies of the “To Cry for Help” and/or “Psalm 107 Reflected in Scripture” exercises from the activity page, which you can download here. Have participants work in groups to complete as indicated; follow with whole-class discussion of discoveries.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 10, 2021: Praise for God’s Ultimate Justice (Psalm 9:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Use one or both of the exercises on the activity page, which you can download here, to explore the subject of oppression as it may relate to poverty—the two topics often being associated in faith-based and secular discussion. There are many ways to use these exercises in that regard. You could have half the class divide into smaller groups for one exercise while the other half considers the other exercise.

Close by allowing volunteers to finish this sentence: “Based on today’s study, here’s how I could better demonstrate God’s concern for justice.”

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 3, 2021: Praise God with Joy (Psalm 100)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “God Is King” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in pairs or triads to complete as indicated. Reconvene for whole-class discussion of findings.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the word-search puzzle “Important Ideas from Psalm 100” from the activity page as a take-home exercise as students depart.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 26, 2021: Praise for Salvation (Acts 2:32-33, 37-47)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For a deeper look at New Testament teaching on baptism, distribute copies of the “More on Baptism” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have study pairs complete it as indicated. (Since it can be time-consuming for all pairs to study every entry on the activity handout, you can assign fewer passages to each group.) Reconvene for whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 19, 2021: Praise by Expecting and Following (Mark 10:46-52)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute to study pairs copies of the “One Story, Three Versions” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Each study pair will need a set of five colored pencils: one each of brown, blue, green, red, and either yellow or orange. Complete and discuss results as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 12, 2021: Praise in Dance (2 Samuel 6:1-5, 14-19)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

To have your class dig deeper into worship in the New Testament era, distribute copies of the “New Testament Worship” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have small groups complete it as indicated. After groups complete the listing, reconvene for whole-class discussion. Pay particular attention to “other” texts that groups saw fit to enter.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 5, 2021: Praise with Music (Exodus 15:11-21)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of “The Problems Before the Praise” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here, to complete in study pairs as indicated. Since this section has both a Bible-study element and personal reflection segment, you may wish to save the latter for the end of your class time.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

To close the session, distribute copies of the “His Love Lasts My Whole Life” exercise from the activity page, to complete as indicated. Allow individuals to share their compositions, but don’t put anyone on the spot to do so.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 29, 2021: An Eternal Hope (2 Corinthians 4:16–5:10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before learners arrive, place in chairs (or distribute electronically) copies of the “Walk by What?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. After learners complete as indicated, award a humorous “Faithful Lexicography” certificate (you prepare) to the learner with the most words that no one else has. Have more than one certificate on hand in case of ties.

After the activity, make a transition by noting that today’s lesson has something to say about what the ultimate focus in life should be.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Finish the Thoughts” exercise from the activity page. Announce a one-minute time limit, closed Bibles. Allow self-scoring of results.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 22, 2021: A Conquering Faith (1 John 4:2-3, 13-17)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Option 1: Distribute copies of the “Love ≠ Apathy” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. After several minutes of discussion in pairs, or one minute of individual work, call for volunteers to share in whole-class discovery.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Option 2: Distribute copies of the “Overcoming the World” exercise on the activity page. Have participants work individually to complete it as indicated in one minute. In the ensuing discussion, also discuss the different senses of what it means to love the world as depicted in John 3:16 and 1 John 2:16.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 15, 2021: A Patient, Persevering Faith (Hebrews 10:23-36)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Step outside today’s lesson text by having learners complete the “A Call to Persevere” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Why Worship?” exercise on the activity page. Have participants work in pairs to complete it as indicated. Have colored pencils or markers available for those who request them. Award a token prize for the most catchy creation.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 8, 2021: A Necessary Faith (Hebrews 11:1-8, 13-16)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Something Better” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Since this can be very time-consuming, you may wish to assign discrete segments to groups. Discuss results as appropriate.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

August 1, 2021: Salvation Available for All (Romans 10:5-17)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Amazing Stats” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for study pairs to complete as indicated.

Then do the same thing with the “Amazing Quotes” exercise.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 25, 2021: Peace with God (Romans 5:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “From Alphabetical to . . .” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here; allow one minute for learners to complete it individually, Bibles closed, before whole-class discussion.)

Distribute copies of the “How Do We Know?” exercise on the activity page as a take-home exercise. Encourage its completion by promising to discuss class members’ conclusions as class begins next week.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 18, 2021: Faith of Abraham (Romans 4:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into study groups of four to six. Distribute to one group copies of the “A Story of Faith” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, rather than the questions in the printed lesson. When you reconvene the class as a whole, let this group report answers first.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “A Legacy of Faith” exercise from the activity page, to be completed as indicated in no more than one minute. If distributed as a take-home, encourage completion by promising to begin next week’s class with it.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 11, 2021: Power of the Gospel (Romans 1:8-17)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Modify the printed groupings by creating an additional, third grouping of learners. Distribute to this/these group(s) copies of the “Qualifications, Please!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download  here, to be completed and reported as indicated. Reconvene groups for whole-class sharing.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Paul’s Mission to Rome” crossword on the activity page as a take-home.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

July 4, 2021: Attitude of Gratitude (Leviticus 13:45-46; Luke 17:11-19)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Option. Distribute copies of the “Attitude Adjustment” exercise on the activity page, which you can download  here. Have learners pick one of the four statements to respond to, time limit of one minute.

Wrap up by asking students to identify which of the five lessons of the unit presents the biggest personal challenge. Ask volunteers to tell which they’ve chosen and why.

Option. Distribute copies of the “Depicting Gratitude” exercise on the activity page as a take-home.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 27, 2021: Rescued from Doubt (Matthew 14:22-33)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

As a closed-Bible pretest, distribute copies of the “True, False, and When?” exercise on the activity page, which you can download  here. Allow learners only one minute to complete it individually. Assure your class that you will not collect the tests—they will score their own. Have them do so when the minute is up.

Make a transition by saying, “Water is a tricky thing: it can be life-giving in one context and life-threatening in another. But in either case, the water itself may not be the main issue. Let’s see why.”

To encourage personal application:

Have learners discuss in triads their response to the exercise “I Just Don’t Get It!” on the activity page. This will cast a wider context for learners to relate their own experiences of faith and doubt.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 20, 2021: Healed by Faith (Matthew 9:18-26)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Option 1: Explore the context by distributing copies of the “Jesus in Context” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Depending on the nature of your class, either have learners stay in their groups of four to complete this or return to their original pairs to do so. During  whole-class discussion of results, stress that this listing is itself only partial in helping us understand Jesus’ mission.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Option 2: Have learners work individually for no more than one minute to complete the “Reactions to Healing” exercise on the activity page as indicated. After calling time, surprise your learners by ignoring what they wrote and instead polling them on which of the four characters they chose to evaluate. Focusing on the reason why, explore what their choices say about them personally.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

June 13, 2021: Delivered from Fear (Matthew 8:23-27)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For broader comparison with other texts, distribute copies of the “Sailors Afraid” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners  complete it in groups. Discuss as time allows.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Fear Busters” exercise on the activity page. Allow time for learners to work in groups for the Scripture search portion of the activity and then complete the second half of it individually. Encourage placement where learners will see theirs daily, as indicated.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

Adapting Involvement Learning Activities for Online or Hybrid Use

By Teacher Tips

Many of the Involvement Learning activities in the Standard Lesson curriculum assume an in-person classroom setting. As written, such activities include distributing paper handouts, writing on the board, and breaking into pairs or small groups. If a class is conducted entirely online or a hybrid of in-person and online, these activities are not always easy to convert.

Learners may experience difficulty when some learners gather in-person and other learners attend virtually. The group of in-person learners may get into a lively discussion, leaving out the digital learners. Learners participating remotely may feel they aren’t free to “break in” and contribute to the larger conversation. Further, the teacher may speak primarily to a camera, neglecting those physically present.

This document suggests how to adapt the most common classroom elements of the Involvement Learning (IL) pages for use with an online or hybrid class—so that everyone can be included.

Whenever you see the phrases mentioned below on an IL page, refer to this document for an adaptation.

  • “you prepare”—IL pages frequently task the teacher to prepare simple handouts for distribution. In an online/hybrid classroom, consider distributing the handouts to the in-person learners, while using text or e-mail to send electronic copies of the same handout to your online learners.
  • “from the activity page”—Standard Lesson makes additional activities available via activity pages. Remember to text or e-mail the exercises on these pages to your remote learners.
  • “write on the board”—It’s important to be sure everyone—physically present and online—can see the board. If your entire class is online, “the board” becomes the software you’re using to record learners’ responses. Zoom’s share screen option will allow all virtual attendees to see those responses as the discussion progresses. If your class is a mix of in-person and virtual attendees, you can turn your webcam toward the board you’re writing on.
  • “break into pairs” or “form small groups”—Several online meeting platforms, like Zoom or Google Meet, have solutions for breaking large groups into smaller groups and then coming back together later.
    • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakout Rooms (which you can learn about online).
    • If some of your learners are online and others are physically present (a hybrid class), the former can use Zoom Breakout Rooms, while the latter gather physically.

As with any tool, the more you use it, the better you’ll become with it. Whichever software solution you use for including your online, virtual learners, practice with it ahead of time.

Several Zoom tutorials are here.

The entire Standard Lesson staff is prayerfully upholding you as you adjust to these unusual and challenging times. But even as conditions change and technology advances, nothing shakes the throne of the Lord God Almighty.

June 6, 2021: Freed from Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before learners arrive, place in chairs (or distribute digitally) copies of the “Corrie on Worry” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow students in pairs to unscramble the sentence. (It is also found, in a shorter version, as the lesson’s Thought to Remember.)

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Tell the class, “Today as we study some familiar advice from Jesus about worry, let’s contrast his teaching with our tendencies.”

To encourage personal application:

As learners depart, distribute copies of the “My Seeking Week” exercise from the activity page to be completed as a take-home. Promise to discuss results during next week’s class.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 30, 2021: Preaching to Enemies (Jonah 3)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What Does It Say?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to complete in pairs as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Read All About It!” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in groups to complete it as indicated. (Or divide your class into of the groups complete, one each, the two charts above while the third group completes the “Read All About It” exercise.)

After several minutes, allow groups to report back to the class.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 23, 2021: Preaching to the Exiles (Ezekiel 18:1-9, 30-32)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Sins of the Fathers” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Use the “jot three steps” instruction as a transition to Into Life.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 16, 2021: Preaching Doom (Jeremiah 38:14-23)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Reinforce the lesson by giving each learner one of the six false statements from the “Fixing Falsehoods” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Read the instructions aloud. Allow one minute for learners to fix their statements and find the passage in today’s text that validates the fix. Compare results among those who have the same statement.

To place today’s study in the larger context of the relationship between Zedekiah and Jeremiah, distribute copies of the “Three Confrontations” exercise from the activity page. Have each learner consult with one or two others to complete it as indicated. Compare results in ensuing whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 9, 2021: Offering Hope for the Future (Isaiah 29:13-24)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies, in print or electronically, of the “God’s ‘Woe to’ Warnings” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Break your class into two halves to complete the exercise. If the halves of the class total more than six learners each, have participants form smaller groups with duplicate assignments.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Searching for Meaning” exercise from the activity page as learners depart. To encourage after-class completion, stress that you will discuss results as a first order of business when the class meets again next week.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

May 2, 2021: Speaking Truth to Power (1 Kings 22:15–23, 26–28)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute (on paper or in electronic form) copies of one or both of the exercises on the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to complete. Give careful thought to the sizes and constituencies of the groups you use for discussion, given the nature of each scenario—you want the discussion to shed “light,” not “heat”!

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 25, 2021: The Nation’s Plea (Lamentations 5)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class members arrive, place at their chairs (or distribute electronically) copies of the “The Js Have It!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Learners can begin working on this as they arrive.

Lead into the Bible study by asking, “Should we keep our pain to ourselves, or should we express it? Let’s see how the writer of Lamentations handled that question.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the (public domain) first stanza and the refrain of the hymn “It Is Well” on the activity page. After singing these, have a preselected participant tell the tragic story of the writer, Horatio G. Spafford (1828–1888). Coordinate this in advance so your participant has time to research the story.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time! For Zoom tutorials, see here.

April 18, 2021: The Restoring Builder (Nehemiah 2:11-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Option 1. Distribute copies of the “It’s a Secret!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Discuss the top half of this particular exercise as a class; then have participants form study pairs (or triads) to answer the two questions in its bottom half. Discuss conclusions as a class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Option 2. To expand consideration of opposition to Nehemiah, distribute copies of the “A Tale of Three Enemies” exercise from the activity page. Have participants work in study pairs to complete it as indicated. Discuss conclusions as appropriate.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 11, 2021: The Faith-in-Action Preacher (Ezra 10:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “What Would You Say?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here for learners to complete in pairs as indicated. Be prepared to offer your own conclusions.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute to study pairs copies of one or two sentences of the “Stinkin’ Thinkin’” exercise from the activity page along with instructions. Allow three minutes for discussion before having the whole class consider the entire list.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

April 4, 2021: The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:4-11a)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Servant Songs” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. This exercise will allow learners to see today’s text in a broader context of the other four Servant Songs in Isaiah. There are a total of 40 verses to consider, and the five songs vary widely in length. Therefore, you will need to think carefully in advance regarding how many groups there will be, how many participants will be in each group, how much time to allow, and how to keep things moving briskly when groups report conclusions in the ensuing all-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Servant Thanks” exercise from the activity page. This devotional prayer-writing activity is designed for students to begin in class but finish at home or on their own.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 28, 2021: Prophet of Courage (1 Kings 18:5-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place at chairs (or distribute electronically) copies of the “Profiles in Courage” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Work the exercise alone or in study groups.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “A Tale of Three Men” exercise from the activity page for groups to complete as indicated; follow with whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Prayer for Courage” exercise from the activity page. Give individuals one minute to jot down ideas, and then ask volunteers to share what they’ve written.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 21, 2021: Prophet of Wisdom (2 Kings 22:14-20)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before learners arrive, place at chairs (or send out electronically) copies of the “Five Milestones of 1 and 2 Kings” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for individuals to complete as indicated. This brief exercise will sketch the broader context in which today’s lesson occurs.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Many Sources” exercise from the activity page for learners in study pairs to complete as indicated. Compare and contrast entries in ensuing whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 14, 2021: Prophet of Conquest (Joshua 5:13–6:27)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute to study pairs copies of the “Strategies and Tactics” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Assign one text per pair to complete as indicated. Use discoveries to compare and contrast with the conquest of Jericho as the Bible study proceeds.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

If you wish to weave into this task the subject of spiritual disciplines, distribute copies of the “Discipline Deficiency” exercise from the activity page. Use of this exercise in study pairs may result in accountability partnerships being formed.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

March 7, 2021: Prophet of Deliverance (Deuteronomy 18:15-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before learners arrive, place at chairs (or distribute via text or e-mail) copies of the “Significant Events, Surprising Leader” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Participants can begin working on this as they arrive.

After discussing the activity, make a transition by saying, “It is important to follow good leaders who guide us through possible and impossible situations.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Prophet to Come, Prophet Who Came” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete as indicated. Close with prayer.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 28, 2021: Called to Serve (Acts 16:11-15, 40; 1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, place on chairs copies of the “Places of Transition” word-search puzzle from the activity page, which you can download here. Learners can begin working on this as they arrive.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Church Planting” exercise on the activity page as a take-home for private reflection.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 21, 2021: Called to Explain (Acts 18:1-3, 18-21, 24-26; Romans 16:3-4)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session: 

Distribute copies of the “Famous Partners on TV” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow one minute for learners to complete as indicated. After that minute, ask why these partners worked well together.

After the activity say, “Some teams work well together to achieve evil purposes (example: Acts 5:1-10), while others work well together for godly purposes. Today we are going to be looking at one such incredible team in the latter category.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Find the Opposite” exercise on the activity page, assigning its completion to research teams. You can assign work to teams either by the exercise’s horizontal rows or by its vertical columns. If assigning by row, you will need five teams, one for each trait; if assigning by column, you will need four teams, one for each name.

If you use the five-team approach, say, “Take the negative trait you’ve been assigned and see if your team can find one instance of its opposite for each of the four people listed.” If you use the four-team approach, say, “Research your assigned person and see if you can find an example of an opposite to each of the five negative traits.”

Allow time for whole-class discussion of discoveries. If learners could benefit from considering other texts in order to fill out their charts, have these ready to suggest: 1 Corinthians 1:12-13; 3:3- 9; 4:1-7; 16:19.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 14, 2021: Called to Support (Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:40; John 20:10-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place on chairs (and/or distribute electronically) copies of the “Favorite Brands” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. After students complete this individually, there is no need to discuss results.

After the activity, lead into the Bible study saying, “The depth of our devotion to certain stores or products can vary greatly. However, our devotion to God should be constant. Today we have something to learn from a person whose devotion was just that.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Mary Magdalene’s Loyalty” exercise from the activity page for students to complete the middle column in study pairs or triads. Save the final column for the Into Life section.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

February 7, 2021: Called to Testify (John 4:25-42)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Interacting with Nonbelievers” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have pairs or triads complete as indicated. Compare and contrast results in ensuing whole-class discussion.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Sow or Reap?” exercise from the activity page, allowing learners one minute to complete individually as indicated; then share names with a prayer partner to close the class.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 31, 2021: Called to Prophesy (Luke 2:36-38; Acts 2:16-21; 21:8-9)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, place on chairs (or distribute electronically) copies of the “His Plan, Not Ours” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Learners can begin considering it as they arrive.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Calling Intersections” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete in pairs as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 24, 2021: Called for the World’s Belief (John 17:14-24)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What I Pray for Most” exercise on the activity page, which can be downloaded here. Allow one minute to complete; then call for volunteers to share the entries on their lists. Make a transition by saying, “Today as we look at a prayer priority of Jesus, it will be interesting to compare and contrast it with our typical prayers.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

If you used the “What I Pray for Most” exercise on the activity page, distribute copies of the “The Prayer Requests of Jesus” exercise from that same page for learners to complete as indicated in study pairs. After three minutes, compare and contrast the results of the two exercises.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 17, 2021: Called in Authority (Mark 2:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Be Healed!” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Assign each Scripture there to a different class member or study pair to paraphrase and then share results with the whole class.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Finding Forgiveness” exercise on the activity page. Have learners work in study pairs to complete it. Allow time for whole-class sharing.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 10, 2021: Called to Follow (Luke 5:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Dig deeper into the first challenge by distributing to small groups the “What Were They Thinking?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (Remember to text or e-mail the exercise pages to your remote learners.)

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After several minutes, reconvene for whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “All to Jesus I Surrender” exercise from the activity page. Give students a minute to jot thoughts in this chart, and then invite them to share those thoughts with a study partner. End the class session by leading the class in singing “All to Jesus I Surrender.” Provide copies of additional stanzas as appropriate.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

January 3, 2021: Called to Proclaim (Luke 4:14-22a)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Minute Match” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (Remember to text or e-mail the exercise pages to your remote learners.) Allow no more than one minute for the matching part; how much time to allow for the compare part is at your discretion.

To encourage personal application:

Extend the above activity by distributing copies of the “My Mission” prayer-writing exercise on the activity page. Use this to close the class or as a take-home.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 27, 2020: Called to Prepare (Matthew 3:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “How Would You Prepare?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (Remember to text or e-mail the exercise pages to your remote learners.) Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “Today’s lesson has something important to teach us about preparation. Let’s see what it is.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For an extended study on baptism, distribute copies of the “Baptism in the New Testament” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete in small groups as indicated. If time is short, this can be a take-home.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 20, 2020: Called to Worship (Matthew 2:1-2, 7-15)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before learners arrive, distribute (via text or e-mail) or place in chairs copies of the “Worship Around the World” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Discuss results to begin class.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For deeper study of Old Testament predictions of the Messiah, distribute copies of the “Old Testament Prophecies” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in study pairs or triads to complete as indicated. After an appropriate amount of time, reconvene for whole-class comparisons of conclusions.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

December 13, 2020: Called to Be Immanuel (Matthew 1:18-25)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Joseph’s Options” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in small groups to complete as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here).
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into groups together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

To encourage personal application:

To extend this activity, distribute copies of “Step Up Your Thanks!” from the activity page as a take-home exercise. You have two options regarding words to be found: either include a list of the 13 to be found or don’t. The latter option will make the puzzle harder to solve and is recommended. To encourage completion, promise to call for results at the beginning of next week’s class.

December 6, 2020: Called to Be Heir (Matthew 1:1-6, 16-17; Hebrews 1:1-5)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Jesus’ Heritage” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs or small groups to complete as indicated.

  • If all your learners are online, consider using Zoom Breakouts (which you can learn about here) to form study pairs.
  • If some of your learners are online and others are in the classroom with you, consider breaking the in-person learners into pairs together and using Zoom Breakouts for the online learners.

After no more than 15 minutes, have students share their conclusions. Use the commentary to fill in any gaps.

Make a transition to Into Life by saying, “While we don’t have any control over our human heritage, we do have control over our spiritual heritage.”

To encourage personal application:

Close by distributing copies of the “Jesus, My Savior, Is All Things to Me” from the activity page. As someone reads aloud the words to the hymn, encourage students to remember and acknowledge that their spiritual heritage is in Jesus—and what a wonderful heritage it is!

November 29, 2020: Impartial Love (James 2:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the matching exercise “He’ll Never Amount to Anything” from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to work on for no more than one minute. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.)

After the activity, ask the class about times they reacted to someone inappropriately based on the person’s appearance, vocational failure, or other external factor. Make a transition to Bible study by noting that the Bible has much to teach us in this regard.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the exercise “A Place for Everyone?” from the activity page. Allow no more than one minute for learners working individually to complete Part 1; call for a show of hands to tally results on the board. (Be sure to share your screen—if all participants are meeting online and you’re capturing notes on your computer—or turn your webcam toward the board—if your class is a hybrid of those physically and virtually present—so your online learners can see and participate.) Engage learners in whole-class discussion to complete Part 2.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 22, 2020: Responsive Love (Acts 4:32–5:11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Truth from an Atheist?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.) Have learners form study pairs to complete it as indicated.

If you’re meeting online, you might make use of Zoom breakouts to create study pairs or discussion groups. If you’re in a hybrid situation, you might group all the online people into one group and the in-person people in other groups.

After the activity ask, “As we consider our own needs and wants, how do we know when we’ve crossed the line into selfishness? And how do we ensure that our generosity isn’t really a form of selfishness? Let’s consider how today’s text can answer such questions.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Response to Need” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete the first part as indicated, time limit of one minute. This can also be a take-home exercise. If the latter, increase the likelihood of completion by announcing that you will begin the next class by asking volunteers to share results.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 15, 2020: Confident Love (1 John 3:11-24)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, place in chairs copies of the “Simon Says” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to complete as they arrive. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.)

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Begin with a mini lecture on the context of the passage. Focus on the contrast between the way people of worldly and Christian outlooks interact both with those of their kind and with those of the opposite viewpoint in terms of love (or lack thereof). Distribute copies of the “God’s Outlook vs. World’s Outlook” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete as indicated. You can use it as a framework for the mini lecture.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 8, 2020: Abiding Love (John 15:4-17)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

If you wish to focus exclusively on social media, distribute copies of the “Connecting” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.)

Have learners work together in groups of three to complete as indicated. (If you’re meeting online, you might make use of Zoom breakout rooms to create study pairs or discussion groups. If you’re in a hybrid situation, you might group all the online people into one group and the in-person people in other groups.)

After the exercise, make a transition by saying, “Let’s see what today’s lesson tells us about the best way to connect with Jesus.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Obeying” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete individually as indicated. When the time limit of one minute expires, ask for volunteers to share responses; don’t put anyone on the spot. Close with prayer for mentioned and unmentioned challenges.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

November 1, 2020: Serving Love (John 13:1-15, 34-35)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

If your learners need help grasping the difference between literal and figurative language, distribute copies of the “What Does the Context Imply?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in groups of three (physically and/or via Zoom breakouts) to reach understanding.

To encourage personal application:

Conclude the class with a few minutes of silent reflection by distributing copies of the “My (Un)Willingness” exercise from the activity page. Ask learners to complete this individually. Assure them that their written responses are theirs alone to keep—you will not collect them.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 25, 2020: Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Healthy or Unhealthy Love?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.) Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated.

If you’re meeting online, you might make use of Zoom breakouts to create study pairs or discussion groups. If you’re in a hybrid situation, you might group all the online people into one group and the in-person people in other groups.

After the activity say, “Brace yourselves: today we are going to examine the most famous passage in the Bible on the topic of love.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Using Our Gifts in Love” exercise from the activity page as a take-home to complete as indicated. To encourage its use, promise to begin next week’s class with a discussion of results.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. Tip: A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 18, 2020: Love for Neighbors (Luke 10:25-37)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the exercise “Your Actions: A Case Study” from the activity page, which you can download here. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.) Ask students to identify patterns of values that can make it challenging to overcome biased thinking in terms of whom we will help and whom we won’t. Have class members work in groups of three, physically and/or via Zoom breakouts, to process the variables as indicated.

Close with a minute of silence during which time learners write to themselves the challenge of one change they are willing to make in order to serve others as Christ would have them. Enhance this segment by distributing copies of the exercise “More Compassion, Less Rationalizing” from the activity page. Have learners complete it during the closing minute of silence, then take it home for further reflection.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. Tip: A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 11, 2020: Love for Enemies (Luke 6:27-36)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

If you choose to spend more time working through the text in depth, distribute copies of the “Natural or Godly” note-taker from the activity page, which you can download here. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.)

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Now It’s Personal” lesson reminder from the activity page as a take-home. Encourage learners to use it daily as indicated. To encourage its use, promise to ask for results at the beginning of next week’s class.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

October 4, 2020: Love that Intercedes (1 Samuel 19:1-7)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute to small groups copies of the “What Could Go Wrong?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to complete as indicated. (If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.)

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Loyalty and Intercession” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete individually as indicated. Since this will take more than a minute, it is best used as a take-home activity.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 27, 2020: Revealed Love (Genesis 45:1-8, 10-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Joseph’s Actions and Mine” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to discuss and complete in study pairs.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies* of the “Grateful for God’s Blessings” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete as indicated in study pairs (physically and/or via Zoom breakouts). Allow time for whole-class sharing.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online Zoom.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

 

 

September 20, 2020: Victorious Love (Genesis 42:6-25)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Movie Plot: Revenge Is Mine!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Divide the class into groups to complete as indicated. (For those participating online, use Zoom breakouts to create discussion groups.) After 10 minutes or so, have groups share results.

After the activity, share a story of a time when you entertained thoughts of revenge against a family member. Say, “I am sure many if not all of us have our own revenge stories, whether of revenge merely pondered or actually carried out. Let’s see how one servant of God dealt with this same temptation.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Split the class in half (physically and/or via Zoom breakouts) and give each group copies of the “Be It Resolved” exercise from the activity page. Conduct the indicated debate after groups develop their arguments.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online Zoom.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 13, 2020: Obedient Love (Genesis 41:25-33, 37-40, 50-52)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Storytelling” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners pair off (physically and/or via Zoom breakouts) and share their stories. Ask for volunteers to tell briefly their stories of someone whose faith helped them through a difficult time.

After the activity say, “Everyone’s life has its ups and downs. This was especially true of Joseph. Let’s see part of the result of his faithfulness.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Your Life Tree” exercise from the activity page to complete as indicated. This can be a do-at-home activity.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online Zoom.

Tip: For a tutorial on how to use Zoom breakouts, go here. For many other Zoom tutorials, see here. A key to using Zoom effectively without fumbling is to practice ahead of time!

September 6, 2020: Biased Love (Genesis 37:2-11, 23-24a, 28)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class members arrive, place in chairs copies of the “Yep—That’s Family!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Your early arrivers can work on this as indicated. If you’re meeting completely or partially online, send the activity page exercise to remote class members via e-mail or text.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Exegesis, Not Eisegesis” activity from the activity page for learners to complete as indicated.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those joining online via Zoom, etc.

August 30, 2020: Two Kinds of Wisdom (James 3:13-18; 5:7-12)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Commentary from Scripture” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Let half of the class, in pairs or triads, consider the first passage noted as the other half considers the second. Use Zoom breakout groups as necessary. Call for whole-class sharing after several minutes.

Distribute copies of the “Wisdom of the Sages” exercise from the activity page. Allow one minute for learners to complete Part 1 with quick first impressions. Then put learners into groups of three or four to complete Part 2. Use Zoom breakout groups as necessary.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those on Zoom.

August 23, 2020: Taming the Tongue (James 3:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

For extended discussion, distribute copies of the “Positive Pointers” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in study pairs to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Situational Suggestions” exercise from the activity page. Due to its personal nature and need for possibly lengthy reflection, it should be an at-home exercise. To encourage completion, promise to ask for volunteers to disclose results at the beginning of next week’s class.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those on Zoom.

August 16, 2020: Living Faith (James 2:14-26)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Reconsider the Stories” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for deeper study. Ask learners to complete this activity in pairs or triads (Zoom breakouts as appropriate) before you have volunteers share what they’ve discussed.

Distribute copies of the “Finish the Thoughts” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete individually as a post-test. Allow only one minute.

Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those on Zoom.

August 9, 2020: Hearing and Doing (James 1:19-27)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Freedom or Frustration?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have small groups complete as indicated in Zoom breakout rooms (caution: may be very time consuming).

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “What Will You Do?” exercise on the activity page. Because of the highly personal nature of this assignment, it should be an at-home exercise. To encourage its completion, say that you will invite learners to volunteer responses next week.

  • Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those meeting online.

August 2, 2020: Faith and Wisdom (James 1:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

As time allows and the needs of your class dictate, distribute copies of one or more of the three exercises on the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed together or by study pairs. (Note: Whenever you distribute copies of anything, use hard-copy (paper) handouts for those physically present and e-copies for those on Zoom.)

If given as at-home work instead, encourage completion by stressing that the activity or activities will be the first matter the class will discuss during next week’s lesson.

July 26, 2020: Wisdom to Follow (John 14:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute or send participants copies of the “Building a Following” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. (Note: Since there is usually more than one exercise on an activity page, you should take care to send only the exercise that is relevant at the time; otherwise, distraction may result.) Have learners work in pairs or individually for no more than one minute to complete as indicated; if you’re meeting online, mute all participants during this time.

After the activity, say, “We live in a world where we constantly encounter someone saying, ‘trust me.’ Today’s lesson will consider Jesus’ invitation to do just that.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute or send by email attachment or text message copies of the “Contrast Jesus’ Statement” exercise from the activity page. Have learners complete in pairs or small groups as indicated. If your class meets as a hybrid—part in-person and part virtually, have learners complete the activity as those two groups separately.

July 19, 2020: The Wisdom of Jesus (Mark 6:1-6)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Wisdom Sayings” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, Have learners work in pairs to complete as indicated. If you’re meeting online, consider having the group complete the activity together. You might even fill it out yourself before class and share some of your answers to get the learners’ wheels turning.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “We often limit our expectations of others based on where they come from. It was no different in Jesus’ day. Let’s see how he handled it.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Follow Godly Wisdom” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. If you’re meeting online, consider e-mailing the handout to learners before or during class. Alternately, you could go through the acronym together, brainstorming ideas as a group.

July 12, 2020: The Boy Jesus (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b; Luke 2:39-52)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Cycles of Wisdom” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, (Note: Since there is usually more than one exercise on an activity page, you should take care to distribute—by email or text message—only the exercise that is relevant at the time; otherwise, distraction may result.) Form groups of three or four to complete as indicated. Reconvene for whole-class compare-and-contrast of results. Distribute copies of the “Amazement” exercise from the activity page. Email or text copies of the “Amazement” exercise from the activity page for whole-class discussion.

July 5, 2020: Vindicating Wisdom (Matthew 11:7-19)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Puzzling” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, Conduct an agree/disagree discussion as appropriate.

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

As a post-test, distribute copies of the “Correcting Falsehood” quiz from the activity page. Allow learners to score their own results after one minute.

June 28, 2020: Feast with Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-6, 8-10, 13-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Choices” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for each learner to complete silently as indicated. Call time after no more than one minute. Tally responses on the board or screen.

After the activity say, “Life is full of choices. Some are merely matters of personal taste, while others influence the very course of life. Let’s see what Solomon had to say about the latter.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Two Appeals” exercise from the activity page as a closing self-test. Assure learners that you will not collect the results. Allow no more than one minute; have learners check their own answers.

Close with a prayer that thanks God for his rebukes and teachings in wisdom, asking that he will continue to teach wisdom to each member of the class.

June 21, 2020: Receive Wisdom’s Gifts (Proverbs 8:8-14, 17-21)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Wisdom Wanted!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. If you’re meeting in person, have study pairs complete the activity. If you’re meeting online, consider completing the worksheet as a group. After the activity is complete, start a discussion by asking which is truer: we apprehend wisdom or wisdom apprehends us.

To encourage personal application:

To expand the previous activity, distribute copies of the “Wisdom Needed!” exercise from the activity page. Allow one minute for class members to complete as indicated.

June 14, 2020: Value Wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “A Search for Information” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Give class members five minutes to complete as indicated. Allow students to share what they have learned.

Discuss the activity with these questions: 1–What other types of treasure hunts have you enjoyed in the past? (Possible responses: scavenger hunts, Easter egg hunts, etc.) 2–Sometimes our searches are not games but rather are vital parts of life. What are some of those? (Possible responses: job search, researching a major purchase, etc.)

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Treasure hunts and similar games are fun, but we all participate in much more serious searches. Let’s see what Solomon taught regarding the nature of the most important search.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Fill It In” exercise from the activity page. Have students work together to complete the puzzle.

 

June 7, 2020: Listen to God’s Wisdom (Proverbs 1:1-4, 7-8, 10, 20-22, 32-33)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Decode It” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Allow class members to work in pairs to complete the activity according to instructions. (If you’re meeting online, consider having the class complete the activity together.) After completion, discuss conclusions by asking learners to identify the common theme of the decoded phrases, which relate to feelings of inadequacy or incompetence.

After the activity say, “We all have times when we feel unqualified, unprepared, or incompetent to address a task. How do we overcome these feelings? Let’s find out.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “On Trial” exercise from the activity page as a take-home or an after-class activity to be completed as indicated. As a motive to complete it, state that you will begin the next class session by reviewing results.

May 31, 2020: Pursue Love and Justice (Hosea 11:1, 2, 7-10; 12:1, 2, 6-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

E-mail to learners the “Tell a Story” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Work as a group to complete as indicated. Call for ideas in the ensuing whole-class discussion.

Lead into Bible study by asking, “Do these pictures have anything to do with people’s relationships with their heavenly Father? Let’s find out!”

To encourage personal application:

If you have time, have learners complete both the “Find the Lesson” and “Change Your Story” portions of the activity page. If you don’t have time to do it in your time together, encourage learners to complete those sections on their own.

May 24, 2020: Repent of Injustice (Jeremiah 22:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To encourage personal application:

Have learners work together to complete the “Concern for the Vulnerable” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Remind students that each listed category is in Jeremiah 22:3.

As a group, propose how you can help your church improve in each of those areas of ministry.

Conclude by encouraging learners to work on the “Prayer for Wisdom to Help” exercise at the bottom of the activity page after class.

May 10, 2020: Promising Peace (Zechariah 8:1-8, 11-17)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

E-mail to learners the link (here it is) to find the “Turn Lies into Truth” exercise from the activity page. Have everyone complete the exercise as a group. Include in the ensuing whole-class discussion a consideration of how easy it is to allow nonbiblical folk wisdom to direct our talk and actions.

Tip for group video calls: Make the rule that each person can answer only once until everyone else has spoken.

To encourage personal application:

As you reach the end of your time together, encourage learners to complete the puzzle “Jesus Gives What I Know I Really Need” on their own time.

May 3, 2020: Prophesying Restoration (Zephaniah 3:14-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “The Promise of God’s Presence” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have study pairs complete it as indicated. Call for insights during ensuing whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

If you used the first exercise from the activity page earlier, distribute copies of the second one, titled “Practicing God’s Presence,” as a take-home. To greatly increase the likelihood that learners will complete it (and not just leave it stuck in their Bibles), say that you will call for their conclusions at the beginning of the next class.

April 26, 2020: A Justice-Loving God (Isaiah 61:8-11; 62:2-4a)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Would You Rather . . . ?” quiz from the activity page, which you can download here. After learners complete as indicated, have them pair off and take turns trying to guess the other person’s choices.

After the activity state, “Most of our preferences are morally neutral. They are neither right nor wrong, but are simply matters of taste. Today we’ll explore whether the same is true of God.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Did You Ever . . . ?” exercise from the activity page to complete as indicated. Assure learners that you will not ask for these back or put anyone on the spot to reveal responses to the class.

April 19, 2020: An Executed Scoundrel (Esther 7:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, place in chairs copies of the “Revenge Gone Wrong” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Learners can begin working on this as they arrive.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Teamwork Under Fire” exercise from the activity page. Promise to discuss answers when the class next meets.

April 12, 2020: A Resurrected Savior (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 12-14, 20-23, 42-45)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “My Resurrection Body” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it in pairs.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Proclaim the Resurrection” exercise from the activity page for learners to discuss and use as indicated.

March 29, 2020: Need for Just Leaders (Malachi 2:1-9; 3:5, 6)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, place in chairs copies of the “Fair Representation” puzzle from the activity page, which you can download here. Your early arrivers can begin work on this before class begins. If time allows, discuss at conclusion of the class.

Make a transition by asking, “When a leader of God’s people falls short of what the responsibility requires, is it usually through simple negligence or intentional misconduct?” After brief whole-class discussion, say, “Let’s see what today’s lesson from Malachi has to say about the distinction and about God’s standards, as the prophet describes the conduct of the Judean priesthood of the late fifth century BC.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Priesthood” exercise from the activity page as a takehome for further self-evaluation.

March 22, 2020: An Argument Against Corruption (Micah 3:1-3, 9-12; 6:6-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Scandalous History” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete it as indicated.

After the activity, ask, “Is abuse of power really anything new? The ancient prophet Micah has the answer.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Micah 3 & 6 Interview Questions” exercise from the activity page to groups of three to five. During whole-class discussion after groups complete as indicated, work through the lesson text carefully to see if learners have missed anything.

 

March 15, 2020: Consequences for Injustice (Habakkuk 2:6-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Consequotation” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete the puzzle as directed.

After the activity say, “The fact is, actions have consequences. Let’s see what the ancient prophet Habakkuk learned from God in that regard.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “From the Dustbin of History” exercise from the activity page. After learners complete it in pairs, discuss why people don’t seem to learn the lessons that the examples of failed despots have to teach.

March 8, 2020: A Prayer for Justice (Habakkuk 1:1-4, 12-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Tyrants in Power” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually for no more than a minute (or in small groups for a few minutes) to complete as indicated.

After the activity say, “We recognize that this world has bad guys in it—not just fictional but terribly real. If God is good and all powerful, why doesn’t he stop them? This is not a new question, as today’s text reveals.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “It Doesn’t Add Up!” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After the activity, point out that because God is sovereign, he can and does use even the actions people intend for evil to accomplish his will.

 

 

March 1, 2020: A Call to Accountability (Amos 5:18-24)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Fair Enough” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in small groups to discuss the fairness of the situations described. Note that there are no clear right or wrong responses. Limit discussion time to no more than five minutes.

After the activity, pose one or more of the following questions for a whole-class discussion: 1–What frequently causes people to complain about being treated unfairly? 2–Why is self-interest the worst criterion by which to evaluate fairness? 3–What better criteria exist?

Make a transition by saying, “People want fairness and expect justice—it’s human nature. But is justice a matter of personal, subjective expectation? Let’s see what God had to say about this through the prophet Amos.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Seven Days of Justice and Righteousness” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. As an incentive to complete it, promise that you will begin next week’s class by discussing results.

 

 

February 23, 2020: Ever-Persevering Petitions (Luke 11:5-13)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Handling Personal Requests” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete as indicated. (Option. Reduce the number of questions to be discussed as time constraints dictate.)

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “Those who can grant our desires sometimes say yes, sometimes they say no, and sometimes change their no to yes because of our persistence. Let’s see how Jesus used this common experience to teach about our relationship with the heavenly Father.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “A Pathway to Prayer” exercise from the activity page. This is best used as a take-home due to its personal nature. Stress that you will begin next week’s class by asking for volunteers to share conclusions.

 

 

February 16, 2020: Kingdom-Seeking Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Forgiveness Pointers” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. If you wish learners to work alone, allow one minute for selecting one quotation and reacting as indicated. If learners work in pairs, adjust your request as appropriate for your class. Limit the time for whole-class discussion so it won’t drag out.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Forgiveness Challenge” exercise on the activity page. Due to the highly personal nature of this exercise, it should be given as a take-home as learners depart.

February 9, 2020: God-Honoring Piety (Matthew 6:1-8)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Giving, Prayer, and Heart” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete it in study pairs or groups of three. (Option. You can change the seven questions into seven skits for learners to act out for discussion.)

To encourage personal application:

If you did not do so earlier, distribute copies of the “Giving, Prayer, and Heart” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. To encourage completion, promise to discuss results next week.

February 2, 2020: Single-Minded Obedience (Matthew 4:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

As a posttest, have learners complete the “True or False?” exercise on the activity page, which you can download here and reproduce.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Tempted Like Jesus” exercise on the activity page. Have learners complete it in study pairs before moving to the final commitment activity.

January 19, 2020: Solomon Seeks God’s Blessing (1 Kings 8:22-53; 2 Chronicles 6:12-42)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Seven Prayers, Seven Principles” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners complete as indicated, considering 1 Kings 8:31-51 as background. If distributed as a take-home, promise to discuss results next week.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Prayer Emphasis” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. To encourage completion, state that you will call for volunteers to share results next week.

January 12, 2020: Solomon Speaks to the People (1 Kings 8:14-21)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Twelve of Many” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have learners work in study pairs to complete as indicated.

To encourage personal application:

Use the “One Favorite Promise” exercise from the activity page to expand the discussion. Students can pair off to discuss as indicated.

January 5, 2020: Solomon Summons the Ark (1 Kings 8:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Glory, Glory, Glory!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Time allowing, have learners complete it in groups of three. It can be a take-home if time is short.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “God’s Glory in Us” exercise from the activity page. Challenge class members to jot down a response to at least one of the questions before class adjourns. Call for volunteers to share what they’ve written, but don’t put anyone on the spot.

December 29, 2019: David’s Prayer (1 Chronicles 17:16-27)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Exceptional Acceptance” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have class members work in pairs to discuss as indicated.

After the activity, discuss what makes a good acceptance speech. Lead into Bible study by saying, “When a person receives an honor, he or she may respond with gracious words. We can learn from David in this regard.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “How to Give an Acceptance Speech” exercise from the activity page. Have learners work in small groups to complete it. After either activity, lead into the final section of the lesson by saying, “David’s prayer in this text provides us a good model for our own prayer lives. Let’s see how we can apply what it teaches us.”

 

 

December 22, 2019: Mary’s Praise (Luke 1:39-56)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Bless You!” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually to complete the activity as indicated in no more than one minute.

After the activity say, “To be blessed is to recognize and enjoy some kind of prosperity. In describing the visit of Mary to Elizabeth, Luke repeatedly wrote of blessing and being blessed. Let’s see what this has to do with us.”

To encourage personal application:

As learners depart, distribute copies of the “Praying from the Psalms” exercise from the activity page as a take-home. To encourage completion, promise to discuss the results at the beginning of the next class.

December 15, 2019: David’s House (1 Chronicles 17:1, 3, 4, 11-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Fair or Unfair?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, as a posttest.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Who Is in Charge?” exercise from the activity page for learners to complete in one minute or less. Give a token prize to the one who completes it the fastest. Discuss what the quote signifies.

Close with prayer asking God to help your learners trust that his plans are always superior to even the best of human intentions.

December 8, 2019: David’s Gratitude (1 Chronicles 16:8-12, 28-36)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

For your early arrivers, place in chairs copies of the “Reasons to Celebrate” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here.

When the time to start class arrives, have playing in the background a song that speaks of “celebration” in some way. Ask what memories this kind of song (but not necessarily this particular song) evokes. Follow up by discussing various reasons such songs give for celebrating.

Say, “We like parties—and there are so many reasons for celebration. But do we ever celebrate for reasons similar to those of Bible characters? Let’s take a look at one and find out!”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Party Animals” exercise from the activity page as a take-home for personal self-evaluation. Promise to discuss results during next week’s class.

December 1, 2019: David’s Worship (1 Chronicles 15:1-3, 14-16, 25-29a)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Making a Move” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to complete this very difficult matching quiz.

After the activity say, “Whether we are moving the contents of one room into another or moving a household across the country, we need to prepare for the task to do it properly. We may be surprised to know that King David has something to teach us in this regard.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “David’s Moving Plans” exercise from the activity page. Use the five lines with the scrambled words as outline points for further discussion.

November 17, 2019: Faith that Is Focused (1 Peter 1:13-25)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place in chairs copies of the “What Does It Mean to Be Holy?” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to begin working on as they arrive. Tell them to feel free to work with a partner to find the answers. After learners solve the puzzle, Ask, “Why should these words describe the Christian?”

After the activity, say, “Today’s Scripture challenges every Christian to be holy and also tells us why and how.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “My Life Is Yours, Lord” exercise from the activity page. This activity challenges students to compare the lyrics of the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” with the admonitions of today’s Scripture.

 

November 3, 2019: Faith that Is Tested (2 Corinthians 13:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the exercise “A Difficult Letter” on the activity page, which you can download here. Divide the class into at least four groups, one to consider each of the headings listed. After several minutes of group work, have groups share their decisions during whole-class discussion.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute to pairs copies of the “Strength Through Weakness” exercise on the activity page to be completed as indicated. Ask volunteers to share what they’ve written.

October 27, 2019: Grateful Faith (Luke 7:37-48)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Reflecting on God’s Forgiveness” activity on the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed in pairs or groups. After several minutes, discuss with the whole class.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “A Graph of My Gratitude” exercise from the activity page. Ask students to complete it in one minute. If learners cannot pinpoint a gratitude level for each line on the graph, ask them to mark the time in their lives when they were most grateful to God. Then discuss with them the questions on the activity as indicated.

October 20, 2019: Humble Faith (Luke 7:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class begins, distribute the crossword puzzle “What’s Faith Like?” on the activity page, which you can download here, to each class member as a take-home activity.

Hand students two slips of paper. On the first they are to complete this sentence: “The best surprise I ever received was . . .” After no more than one minute, collect the slips. Then ask students to complete this sentence on the second slip: “The worst surprise I ever received was . . .” Collect these slips also after no more than one minute. Read several slips from each set to the class.

Lead into Bible study by telling students that real faith is often surprising to those who witness it, as will be seen in this week’s account of a man with great faith and great humility.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” exercise from the activity page to be completed as indicated. Discuss as time permits.

October 13, 2019: Active Faith (1 Kings 17:8-16)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Obeying God with Confidence” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. These can be completed individually as indicated; the time limit is one minute.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “What Jesus Said” activity on the activity page. Discuss the questions as a class.

 

September 29, 2019: Faithful in Consequences (Numbers 14:10b-20)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “In Place Of” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually for no more than one minute (or in small groups for several minutes) to complete as indicated.

After the activity, lead into Bible study by saying, “There are times when all of us need someone to ‘go to bat’ for us. We need someone to stand up or to stand in, to be a broker or a backer, to support us in some way. When the people of Israel angered the Lord by their rebellion, they had an intercessor. His name was Moses.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Substituting Subtext” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After the activity, move to the final section of the lesson by saying, “The Lord’s anger against Israel was certainly justified. But another theme is intercession. Ultimately, the intercessor who stands up for us is God’s own Son! Let’s look for ways we can be intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

 

 

September 22, 2019: Faithful Despite Unfaithfulness (Numbers 13:1–14:10a)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Motivation” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually for no more than one minute or in pairs for a few minutes to complete it as indicated.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “When life puts obstacles in our paths, what contributes to our ending up discouraged easily?” Discuss. Make a transition by noting that two Israelite spies believed that God could lead Israel to possess the promised land. But their inability to overcome human nature has something to teach us today.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Counseling Session” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in small groups or as a whole class to complete it as indicated.

September 15, 2019: Faithful During Uncertainty (Exodus 16:1-15)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Decode the Title” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually for no more than one minute or in small groups for up to three minutes to complete as indicated.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “We can’t seem to help ourselves! We complain about the weather, high prices, long lines, and so much more. But this is nothing new. Although the Israelites were rescued from slavery, they found reasons to complain. Let’s see how that happened and what resulted.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Here We Go Again!” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in small groups or as a class to complete it as indicated.

After the activity, make a transition to the Into Life section by saying, “A lifestyle of grumbling results from failing to be grateful for what one has and a failure to recognize the source of those blessings. Like Israel, we start listening to our desires and the influences around us. We can find ourselves believing that we are victims of God rather than victors enjoying victories won by God. Let’s look at how we can avoid that trap and, instead, live in trust that our God will provide for us.”

September 8, 2019: Faithful During Grief (1 Samuel 1:9-20)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Putting It Together” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in groups to complete it as indicated.

After the activity, move to the final section of the lesson by saying, “Hannah’s situation reminds us that life is messy. Her prayer was answered yes only after bitter tears. In the end, her burden was relieved. Let’s see what we can learn from other believers who have turned to God in prayer.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “A Prayer That Changed the World” exercise from the activity page to be completed and discussed as indicated.

September 1, 2019: Faithful During Distress (Genesis 19:1, 4, 5, 15-26, 29)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Celebrity Godparents” exercise from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work individually for no more than a minute or in pairs for a few minutes to complete as indicated.

After the activity say, “It is not unusual for people, even after they become adults, to have an older and wiser adult looking out for their best interests. In the Bible, we find a similar situation concerning Abraham and his nephew Lot. Let’s take a look.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Surprising or Expected?” exercise from the activity page. Have students work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After the activity, make a transition to the Into Life section by saying, “Note that the people in today’s lesson had varying degrees of faith as connected with their self-interest. Let’s think about how we can use today’s lesson effectively in our interactions with those who are less mature in the faith—newer believers who need to be aware of the tension between God’s holy judgment and his gracious mercy.”

August 25, 2019: A Covenant of Love (Ephesians 5:21-33)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the activity page, which you can download here. Point students to the “Marriage Broken” activity at the top of the page. With a time limit of one minute, have students write descriptions of what seems to be happening in each one. (You can use the “Marriage Mended” part of the reproducible page in the Into Life section.)

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Today, we’re going to look at a covenant that’s personal, a covenant arrangement that has affected each of our lives in one way or another. I’m talking about marriage. The challenge for us is to decide how a Christian marriage can be more pleasing to God than marriages not governed by Christ.”

To encourage personal application:

Point students to the “Marriage Mended” section of the activity page. Allow a maximum of one minute for learners to engage the activity as indicated. Ask for volunteers to share thoughts for whole-class discussion.

Write this sentence on the board: Christian marriages are unique because ______. Ask class members to volunteer completions to the sentence. End with a prayer for the marriages represented—and to be represented—in your class.

August 18, 2019: A Covenant to Marry (Ruth 3:1-6, 8-12, 16-18)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Hidden Message, Helpful Message” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. After learners work in pairs for several minutes, ask who can read it. Ask volunteers how they’ve seen this principle played out with positive or negative examples.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Today we’re going to look at a prelude to a wedding. The details of this account may seem strange to us in our time and in our culture. But we will see how the actions demonstrated the integrity of everyone in the story.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of “My Relationship Matrix” from the activity page, to be completed as indicated in one minute. Discuss. (Option. Distribute as a take-home activity.)

August 11, 2019: A Mother-Daughter Covenant (Ruth 1:6-11, 14-18)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “In-law Diaries” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Read today’s printed text in the segments indicated on the sheet. After each segment, pause for learners to make entries as indicated. After the last entry, cycle back to the beginning as you ask volunteers to share what they’ve written.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Blessed to Be a Blessing” activity from the activity page as a take-home exercise. Ask for volunteers to be ready to share in the next class session what they have written and how things turned out.

August 4, 2019: A Covenant Between Friends (1 Samuel 18:1-5; 19:1-7)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Acquaintance . . . or Friend?” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Ask students if they agree or disagree with the quote. Taking no more than one minute, have them complete the “Remembering My Friends” section as indicated.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Today we’ll look at a story of friendship to see how it confirms or contradicts these quotes. Maybe we’ll decide something new about friendship in the process.”

To encourage personal application:

Ask class members to complete individually the chart in the “Strengthening Our Friendship” activity from the activity page. If time allows, ask volunteers to share what they’ve written.

July 28, 2019: Spiritual Discernment (Matthew 7:1-6, 15-23)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “How Do You Rate?” activity from the activity page, which you can download here, to be completed as indicated by interaction with fellow class members.

After the activity, discuss the idea of ratings with these questions: 1–What is the value of having rating systems? 2–What are some rating systems to which you pay a great deal of attention? 3–In what contexts have you been evaluated by some sort of rating scale? 4–What makes some rating systems more valid than others?

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Rating a movie, evaluating job performance, and assessing the quality of goods are familiar to us. But how do we go about judging the godliness of another person? Jesus has invaluable words of caution on just this question.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Form learners into study pairs or groups of three. Distribute copies of the “True or False?” activity from the activity page to be completed as indicated, then discuss.

After the activity, lead into the Into Life segment by saying, “Jesus does not command that we say nothing when someone we know is on the wrong path. Rather, he counsels us not to offer blanket condemnation. Instead, we first evaluate our own behavior so we can offer helpful correction without hypocrisy. We need to respond to evil wisely. Let’s see how that might look.”

July 21, 2019: Transforming Love (Matthew 5:38-48)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Consequential Quote” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work to piece together a quote about vengeance, jigsaw style.

After the activity, ask, “Is it always good that someone gets what he or she deserves? Are there times when it is better if people do not get their ‘just deserts’”? Lead into Bible study by saying, “‘What goes around comes around.’ ‘You made your bed; now lie in it.’ ‘Your just deserts.’ These common expressions say that people should get what they deserve. Jesus taught something different. Let’s examine why his way works best.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Persecution Map” activity from the activity page. Have class members take the map home and pray for leaders in the countries throughout the week.

July 14, 2019: Love One Another (Matthew 5:21-32)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Crime Classification” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in pairs to identify each of the crimes as a felony or a misdemeanor.

After the activity ask, “What are some criteria used to rate the seriousness of specific actions? Are those same criteria used decade after decade, or can the ratings change over time?” Lead into Bible study by saying, “Human systems of law and morality differentiate between major and minor infractions. But where does one draw the line? Jesus draws the line much closer to us than we might find comfortable!”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Dissecting the Text” activity from the activity page. Have students work in small groups to complete as indicated.

After the activity, make a transition by saying, “Attitudes of anger and lust are not harmless. Unchecked, they lead to disaster. Let’s develop strategies to monitor our thoughts.”

July 7, 2019: Fulfilling the Law (Matthew 5:13-20)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “Big Claims, Outrageous Promises” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work in groups to unscramble brand names associated with advertising slogans.

After the activity say, “Some ads fairly represent their products. Yet many ads use words to manipulate emotions, create false images, and imply impossible promises. Jesus demanded that those who follow him be real. He taught his disciples how to live as authentic children of God.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Pass the Salt, Turn on the Light” activity from the activity page. Have students evaluate their “saltiness” or “luminosity” with the metaphors found there.

June 30, 2019: Right Attitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Distribute copies of the “What’s in a Name?” activity from the activity page, which you can download here. Have students work to match the ironic names with their identities. Ask for a definition of the word irony. (Expected response: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.)

Lead into Bible study by saying, “The world’s tallest man is nicknamed Tiny. Drug abuse educators meet for a wine and cheese reception. A fitness guru has a heart attack while jogging . . . We see examples of irony daily. Jesus told his disciples that their lifestyle would seem just as contradictory to the world.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Distribute copies of the “Unexpected Words” activity from the activity page. Allow no more than a minute for students to fill in the grid. Discuss why Jesus’ teaching on being blessed is countercultural.

Lead into the closing activity with these words: “It goes against common thinking to say that a person can be filled when empty, powerful when peaceful, and happy when hurting. But we have known believers who exhibit those characteristics. Let’s recognize someone who displays beatitude attitudes.”

June 16, 2019: The New Covenant’s Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:11-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place on chairs copies of the “Day of Atonement Match” activity from the activity page, which you can download here, for learners to begin working on as they arrive. Assure your learners that they will score their own results later during class. Use this activity as a reference as you aid the class in working through the lesson.

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “Hebrew Parallelism” activity from the activity page. Have learners work in groups to construct prayer poems about Christ’s sacrifice as indicated. Have groups share their completed prayer poems. E-mail copies to learners so they can pray it in the week ahead.

June 9, 2019: Jesus Seals the New Covenant (Mark 15:6-15, 25, 26, 33-39)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Have students present the reader’s theater activity titled “Various Viewpoints” from the activity page, which you can download here. Give each student a copy. Compare the various perspectives of the events that took place in the lesson text.

Follow the activity by (1) identifying those involved in the events leading up to the crucifixion and (2) comparing what their actions revealed about their character. Anticipated identity responses: those of the Jewish leadership, the Roman leader Pilate, Barabbas, the crowd, a centurion, Jesus himself. Possible character responses: a mentality of “the end justifies the means” among the Jewish leaders as well as Pilate; people in the crowd swayed by the emotion of the moment; the revealing of either fear or confession of faith in the centurion’s cry. (Note: expect some disagreement on the question of character!)

To encourage personal application:

Distribute copies of the “My Response” activity from the activity page. Allow no more than one minute to record answers. Discuss as time allows.

June 2, 2019: Jesus Institutes the New Covenant (Mark 14:17-25; Hebrews 8:6, 7, 10-12)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Place copies of “A Jewish Holiday” activity from the activity page, which you can download here, in students’ chairs before they arrive. Have students work individually to match the list of Jewish traditions to the list of Jewish holidays with which they belong. After a minute, have students share their answers with the class, including their knowledge of the significance of the holidays or traditions listed.

After the activity, lead into the Bible study by saying, “The Israelites themselves had greatly revered commemorations. But there was one in particular that Jesus took time to teach his disciples a new way to celebrate. To fully understand this new celebration, we must first look at the Passover feast as originally instituted.”

To encourage personal application:

Distribute the “The Lord’s Supper” activity from the activity page. Have students take one minute to reflect individually on how the elements of the Lord’s Supper are significant. Then ask for volunteers to share their thoughts.

 

May 26, 2019: Called to Be Transformed (Romans 12:1-8)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

As learners arrive, have an array of items laid out on one or more tables: such as a shoe with shoelaces, a keyboard (for typing), a musical instrument, a blender or mixer, empty plastic containers with lids or caps, etc.

Instruct learners to tie the laces, type on the keyboard, play the instrument, operate the blender, take off the caps or lids, etc., using anything except their hands.

Say, “Life just works better when the right body parts are doing the things they’re designed to do—and when the other body parts stick to what they’re designed to do! Let’s see what Paul says about that in Romans.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the handout “One Body, Many Parts” here. Have the class work in groups of 4–6 to complete the sheet.

Give the class twenty minutes to complete the sheet. Then reconvene and discuss their answers, especially the funny examples.

Say, “Why do we sometimes want the more ‘significant’ or ‘flashy’ roles and gifts in the church? How might we operate instead not as the world does but as if we were servants dedicated to the Lord as living sacrifices?”

May 19: Called to Mutual Acceptance (Romans 11:11-24)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the handout “Fall and Rise” here. Divide the class into two groups: the Verses 11-16 Group and the Verses 17-24 Group. Have each group work on the appropriate half of the handout.

Give the class twenty minutes to complete the sheet. Then reconvene and have a spokesperson from the Verses 11-16 Group read aloud the questions and that group’s answers. Next, have a spokesperson from the Verses 17-24 Group do the same with their answers.

Together, discuss the flow of the passage and the insights the learners have gained in terms of the writer’s original intent.

To encourage personal application:

As you think about how much energy is exerted in our culture today to exalt one group of people over another—or over all others—how can you apply today’s lesson to it? What group has in the past exalted (or is now exalting) themselves over you or those you care about? What person or group have you exalted (or are you exalting) yourself over? Based on today’s passage, what should our attitude be toward those people?

Pick a person or group you have sometimes been tempted to feel superior to, if any, and make it a matter of prayer this week to think about that person or group. Remember that it is by our faith in Christ that any of us stands, and that it is by thinking we’re superior that any of us can fall.

May 12, 2019: Called to Life in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the handout “Impulse Control” here. Have the class work in groups of 2–3 to complete the sheet.

Say, “Humans have the ability to think before acting on our urges, though frequently we don’t. Christians have been set free from slavery to the flesh, so we have not only the ability but the command to deny the flesh and instead walk by the Spirit. The worksheet helps us identify ways we can set our minds on the Spirit.”

To encourage personal application:

Look over the “Impulse Control” worksheet and review the topics you wrote down. Choose one topic from the list, or another topic you think of, and ask for God’s help in denying your impulses so you can walk by the Spirit in that area. Take a moment to pray silently about it, asking for His power and setting your mind on the Spirit for the week ahead.

May 5, 2019: Called to Righteousness (Romans 3:21-31)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the handout “The Great Equalizer” here. Have the class pair up and work the sheet.

To transition to the Bible study portion of the lesson, say, “Humans often jockey for position and work very hard to elevate themselves above others. But many things wipe all advantages and disadvantages away, sometimes in the blink of an eye. In our passage today, we’ll see that God is the greatest equalizer of all.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Today’s passage is Romans 3:21–31. As a class, go through the passage phrase by phrase looking for expressions of how God, sin, law, faith, and other things place us all on the same footing.

There are at least seven expressions of equalization in this passage:

Verse(s) Comment
21–22 All who believe have access to God’s righteousness
22 Neither is better or worse than the other
23 All people are equally in need of forgiveness, atonement, and salvation
24 Everyone receives justification in the same way
25 All people require atonement because of their sins
28 Everyone who is justified is justified in the same way
29–30 Since all humankind is either Jew or Gentile, God is the God of all

 

April 28, 2019: Called to Make Disciples (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-8)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Write these words on the board: “Sidetracked, Hijacked, Intimidated, Lost Focus”

Have the class identify a time when they have forgotten what their main purpose or goal was. Make this a self-reflective time of acknowledging that all of us can lose focus at times, but it’s possible to get refocused on the main thing.

Try to come up with an example of each of the descriptions listed on the board.

As a group, come up with at least one way that each person or group could regain focus on the goal and move forward toward it.

Transition into the Bible study by saying, “After the resurrection, Jesus gave the disciples clear directions about what their focus should be.”

To encourage personal application:

Download the handout “Focusing on the Great Commission” here. Break into pairs or small groups and have learners fill out the worksheet.

Say, “All of us can pursue the Great Commission in our many roles, but we might not have thought about that in a while and perhaps our roles have changed. Break into pairs and help each other think of creative ways to obey the Great Commission in our different life roles.”

April 21, 2019–Called to Believe the Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the handout “Too Good to Be True?” here and have learners pair up to fill out the sheet.

After they have filled out the sheet, bring the class back together to discuss each item.

If time allows, ask the class to name other aspects of Christianity that are so extraordinary as to seem too good to be true. (Examples: that God became human; that God did for people what we could never do for ourselves; that the Christian life is supposed to be so much more simple than we make it; and that salvation is received by faith and we can never merit it.)

To encourage personal application:

If we had been with the women witnessing the resurrection that first Easter morning, or if we had been with the Apostles hearing their report, we surely would’ve been skeptical, at least at first. These are remarkable events, unprecedented and unrepeated in history.

In the same way, we can be skeptical of the things God says to us, either in Scripture or in our in discerning the things we believe He asks us to trust Him about or obey. Discuss with your partner the most incredible thing God has ever asked you to do or believe.

What is something you haven’t yet dared to believe about God, despite the fact that He has promised it? (Examples: That God not only “loves” you but likes you; that God wants to take even your sins and use those failures for His purposes.)

This week, choose to believe God’s promise, even if it sounds too good to be true.

 

April 14, 2019: Called to Remember (Matthew 26:1-13)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Write this on the board: “A New Perspective”

People can have different ideas about the same person. You might approve of a political candidate while someone else might be firmly opposed to him or her. You might feel strongly negative feelings for a thief, while that person’s mother might dearly love the same person.

Our passage today contrasts two mindsets that people had toward Jesus.

Download the handout “A New Perspective” here and have the class call out answers as a group.

Lead into Bible study by saying… “In our Bible lesson today, we see one set of people who spent their resources to oppose Jesus and someone else who looked at that same individual and gave extravagantly to support Him.”

To encourage personal application:

Get into groups of three or four. Each person should think of someone he or she would consider a personal enemy. Have them discuss how they would feel about humbly serving this person in some way. Then they should ask one another whether Jesus’ view of that person might refine their thinking.

Challenge the class to pray each day this week that God would soften their hearts toward these enemies.

April 7, 2019: Called to Mission (Matthew 10:1-15)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Missions Compared” handout here. Pair up and fill out the Venn diagram according to the directions in the handout.

While the learners are working, draw a simple, two-circle Venn diagram on the board. When the learners have populated their circles, bring the class together to ask for highlights of what they found. Now work together as a class to fill in the middle section of the diagram, comprised of things in common with both missions.

Ask these questions: 1–In what ways do you feel a connection with the disciples on that first mission? 2–Aside from issues of technology, why do you think the first mission was so different from what we see today? 3–How was this mission a foretaste of the church’s spread in the book of Acts? 4–How does the biblical history of mission shape and potentially change how we practice outreach and other ministries today?

To encourage personal application:

Pair up and brainstorm how someone might behave if he or she knew they were in charge of handing out amazing treasures however and to whomever they see fit.

Reply to this question: “How will I present the gospel differently to someone I know, now that I see myself as having been put in charge of handing out the most incredible treasure the world has ever seen?”

March 31: Called to Follow (Matthew 4:12-22)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “New Directions” activity here. Make copies for every class member. Follow the instructions on the handout.

Answers might include:

  • Before: The people were living in darkness
  • After: They have seen a great light
  • Before: John the Baptist was free to preach and baptize
  • After: John was imprisoned
  • Before: Jesus had no disciples
  • After: Jesus began by calling His first four disciples
  • Before: Jesus lived in Nazareth
  • After: Jesus made His home in Capernaum
  • Before: Simon, Andrew, James, and John spent their days fishing on the Sea of Galilee
  • After: These men followed Jesus and spent their days fishing for men

To encourage personal application:

With the class, brainstorm a list of the times and ways in which the learners were called into a whole new direction. Brainstorm a second list of current new directions they’re considering. Ask how these calls have challenged and strengthened their faith. How might these new directions affect their future callings?

Say, “No matter what directions we find ourselves traveling, Jesus always calls us to trust and follow Him.”

March 24: Called to Repent (Luke 19:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

After all class members have arrived, discuss the following questions. How far are you willing to go to find something you’ve lost? If you answer, “It depends,” explain the factors that determine how far you’re willing to go and what price you’re willing to pay to bring it back to you.

What’s something you’ve looked for that other people disapproved of you wanting? For example, what if you didn’t know you were in a vegan restaurant and you asked the server if they had good hamburgers? How did it feel to go against what others wanted you to do?

What’s something you’ve wanted despite the fact that wanting it gave people the wrong idea? For instance, people working to rescue girls out of sex trafficking in other countries often enter the brothels posing as customers (so they can identify the girls to be rescued by law enforcement). What if someone who didn’t know that you were working with a rescue agency saw you go inside the brothel and assumed you were paying for a prostitute? Could that possibility make someone have second thoughts about helping? Why or why not?

Would you ever pursue something even though people might get the wrong idea about what you are doing and even if they assumed something other than what you have in your heart?

Lead into Bible study by saying, “What Jesus did in our Bible passage today made people assume He was condoning the sin that a man was committing.”

To encourage personal application:

Download the “How Far Would You Go?” activity here. Make copies for every class member. Give them these instructions: “The more we love someone, the higher the price and risk we’re willing to pay to bring them back if they get lost or put in danger. On the left side of the chart, write the names or categories of people you would go to these different lengths to save.”

What cost was Jesus willing to pay to seek and save Zacchaeus when he was lost? What is a situation in your life where you have (or have not) been willing to pay the price to reach out to someone even though (or because) people thought you were endorsing sin? Who is someone in your life now who is searching for meaning in their life, and in what way could you go one step further to seek and to save him or her?

March 17: Called to Return (Luke 15:11-24)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “What Was He Thinking!” activity here. Make copies for every class member. Have them complete the activity according to the printed instructions. After several minutes, reveal these answers:

1=Luke 15:17, 2=Luke 15:16b, 3=Luke 15:20-23, 4=Luke 15:12, 5=Luke 15:15,

6=Luke 15:13, 7=Luke 15:18-19.

Read the entire text aloud and discuss it with the aid of the commentary.

To encourage personal application:

Quickly brainstorm a list of modern-day prodigals. Some possibilities include: drug addicts, alcoholics, AIDS patients, gang members, adult entertainers, the homeless, etc.

Say, “There are many ways we can respond to a modern-day prodigal. We can be judgmental, saying that he or she should get what is deserved. We can just be apathetic, giving an I-don’t-care attitude. We can give an enabling response that in effect encourages the prodigal to repeat bad behavior without consequence. Or we can give the compassionate response of the father in the parable.”

Take a few minutes to select a prodigal from your list. Encourage volunteers to give an example of one of the insufficient responses mentioned. Then have a volunteer give an example of a compassionate, Christ-honoring response.

March 10: Called to Sacrifice (Mark 1:16-20; Luke 14:25-33)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Job Benefits” activity here. Make copies for all class members. As class members arrive, allow them to work the activity according to the printed instructions individually or cooperatively.

After about five minutes, reveal these answers: 1=Health insurance, 2=Food allowance, 3=Continuing education, 4=Company car, 5=Reserved parking space, 6=Retirement plan, 7=Flexible hours, 8=Safe working conditions, 9=Paid vacation, 10=Moving expenses, 11=Family leave, 12=Health club membership

Lead into Bible study saying, “When we consider taking a new job, we expect that the job will include certain perks—benefits above and beyond a salary. When Jesus called those who would follow him, his was not call to big benefits and career advancement. It was a call to a life of sacrifice.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into groups of three to five students each. Give each group pen and paper. Each group should read the lesson texts and use them as a basis for writing a “Help Wanted” ad for the position of a disciple of Jesus.

Give groups about 15 minutes to work on their ads. Remind them that a typical ad of this sort includes a description of the job, job requirements, and salary. Here is our attempt at this assignment:

Position: Disciple of Jesus

Job Description: Those chosen to be a disciple of Jesus will live with him over an extended period, traveling with him wherever he goes. The disciple will take on the role of learner, observing Jesus’ work and carefully listening to his teaching. The goal of the job is to continue Jesus’ work of calling others to follow him.

Job Duties: Applicants must understand that much is expected in this position and to be fully aware of what is required before applying. Disciples must be willing to place a commitment to Jesus above all other commitments, including personal comfort and family ties. A disciple will be called upon to relocate regularly, work long hours, endure opposition, and leave his present life behind.

Salary: This is an unpaid position. A disciple will share any food, lodging, and any other necessity of life with Jesus himself.

March 3: Called to Serve (Luke 14:7-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

On the board write this quote from Austrian actor and movie director Bernhard Wicki:

Status symbols are medals you buy yourself.

After all class members have arrived and have had time to consider the quote, discuss it briefly. What are some differences between status symbols and medals? What are some common status symbols? Why do people try to obtain such status symbols?

Lead into Bible study by saying, “It is not unusual for people to want to be recognized as important. Therefore, one might buy fine jewelry, a fast car, fashionable apparel, or a big house. These are all ways of telling others that we are significant. But Jesus called his disciples to value service over status.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Surprising or Expected?” handout  here. Make a copy for each class member. Divide the class into groups of three to five students. Have groups read the text aloud. Then group members should take a few minutes to mark each statement about the text as being surprising to or expected by them. Then groups should allow members to share and explain why they marked statements as they did.

February 24: Our Rescuing God (Psalm 91:1-8,11-16)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Defense or Offense” puzzle here. Make copies of the worksheet for each class member. Place copies on classroom chairs, encouraging class members to work on it individually or corporately as they arrive. After everyone has had the opportunity to work the puzzle, share these answers: 1=b, 2=e, 3=k, 4=h, 5=l, 6=d, 7=c, 8=j, 9=a, 10=f, 11=k, 12=g, 13=i.

Transition into Bible study by saying, “In football and other sports, it is important that team score (offense) and prevent opponents from scoring (defense). The psalmist tells us that God plays both defense and offense on our behalf!”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into two groups. Give each group an inexpensive foam football and a fine point permanent marker. (If you do not wish to purchase toy footballs, you may create football-shaped cardboard cutouts instead.) Give each group one of these Scripture assignments:

Defense Group (Psalm 91:1-8, 11-16) How does God protect us?

Offense Group (Psalm 91:1-8, 11-16) How does God fight for us?

Give groups about 15 minutes to read their Bible texts and then write answers to their question from the text on their footballs. Some suggested responses would be:

Defense Group—God shelters, fortifies, saves from traps and disease, shields, relieves fear, lifts us up out of harm’s way

Offense Group—God sends angels, helps us trample dangerous obstacles, punishes the wicked, answers our call for help, demonstrates how he saves, gives long life

February 17: Our Mighty God (Psalm 66:1-9,16-20)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Divide the class into two groups, giving each pen and paper. Give groups about five minutes to list reasons in defense of one of the following statements:

  • The most important task of a national leader is to defend the country from foreign enemies.
  • The most important task of a national leader is to provide for domestic needs.

After group work is complete, have them share and defend their responses. Then move into Bible study saying, “Some people are considered great because of the way they wield power. Others are great because of ways they provide for the needs of their constituency. The psalmist praises God for both!”

To encourage personal application:

Download the “Prayer Spinner” reproducible sheet here. Make enough copies for every three to five class members. Glue the main dial to a piece of corrugated cardboard and attach the spinner with a pin.

Divide the class into groups and give each a spinner. Give them several minutes to use their spinner to point to a reason from the text for praising God. Then they should offer a prayer voicing that praise.

February 10: Our Loving God (Psalm 48:1-3, 9-14)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Right Track–Wrong Track” activity  here. Make a copy for each class member. After class members arrive, allow them 5 minutes to rate how well the nation is doing regarding each of the issues on the worksheet.  (Make it clear that there are no right or wrong answers.) Then ask class members to turn to a partner and compare and defend their ratings.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “At times all seems to be going well in a country, but at others, nothing seems to be right! The psalmist describes our God who gives us stability no matter the state of the world around us.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Begin Bible study by saying, “Leaders of nations regularly address their citizens to assure them of the stability of their countries. (The President of the United States discharged that duty last Tuesday evening.) As Christ followers, we have citizenship in our native countries, but also in the Kingdom of Heaven where God reigns. Imagine yourself delivering such a speech concerning the state of God’s kingdom.”

Divide the class into small groups, giving each group pen and paper and a portion of the Bible text. Have them read their portion and try to summarize what it says about the state of God’s Kingdom in a couplet—a two-line rhyming poem. Give them about 15 minutes to write before sharing and explaining their work.  (If your class is disinterested in writing, copy each of our sample couplets on the board without Scripture references. Have the class match couplets to Scripture. Then summarize the content of the passage using the commentary.)

Sample couplets:

God’s Kingdom is stable because . . .

God is greater than any other power in the world (vv. 1-3).

God is worthy, lofty, and great—

A fortress where peace reigns within the gate.

God alone gives standards of right and wrong (vv. 9-11).

God’s Word reveals secrets of righteous living—

Peace and security they’re always giving.

God promises to protect his people (vv. 12-14).

God faithfully guides his special nation—

Not just now, but for each generation.

 

February 3: Press on in Christ (Philippians 3:7-14)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Outline Repair” activity here. Make copies for each class member. Ask volunteers to read the list of Scriptures aloud and suggest where each one fits in the outline of the lesson text.

The correct responses are I-a=8, I-b=5, I-c=4, II-a=3, II-b=6, II-c=2, III-a=7, III-b=1.  Use the completed outline to explain briefly Philippians 3:7-14.

To encourage personal application:

With the class, brainstorm a list of occupations or other ways people gain recognition. Make paper and pens available, allowing class members to work in groups of 3–5 members each. Groups should choose an avocation from the list and write a short eulogy for that believer who followed Paul’s example of pressing on in Christ. Give them about five minutes to do so before sharing their work. An example would be:

Artie Angler was known to us all as an outstanding fisherman. In fact, he won more than a few trophies when he participated in fishing tournaments. Although he loved fishing, Artie found his greatest satisfaction in being a fisher of men—sharing the saving good news about Jesus with others. Even as he grew older, Artie took every opportunity to speak of his Savior.

January 27: Imitate Christ (Philippians 2:1-11)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Getting Ahead” puzzle  here. Make copies for all class members. As they arrive, ask them to work on it individually or with others. After all class members have arrived and have had an opportunity to solve the puzzle, reveal the answer. The word list is: ambition, manipulation, control, dominance, influence, waging war, military force, oppression, getting tough. The completed quote, from the infamous Mao Zedong, is: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Move into Bible study by saying, “Many have taught that one gets ahead through aggression. The more we are willing to intimidate others with raw power, the more power we accumulate. Paul told the Philippians that there was a better way—a way that showed love for God by imitating Jesus.”

To encourage personal application:

Allow class members to work in pairs or small groups to create a personal selflessness inventory by paraphrasing parts of the text.  Give them ten minutes to do so, and then have them share their work. Some items on their inventory might be:

I look for areas of common ground with others (v. 2).

I try to put any personal agenda aside when dealing with others (v. 3).

I avoid “pulling rank”—using any advantage at my disposal to dominate (v. 6).

I look for opportunities to serve rather than opportunities to rule (v. 7).

I trust God to reward me rather than trying to make a name for myself (v. 9).

January 20: Rejoice in All Circumstances (Philippians 1:12-21)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Best of the Worst” activity here. Make copies for every class member. When all have arrived, allow class members to complete this famous literary quote by unscrambling the underlined words. After a few minutes, reveal the answers. The unscrambled words are: WISDOM, FOOLISHNESS, BELIEF, INCREDULITY, LIGHT, DARKNESS, HOPE, DESPAIR, EVERYTHING, NOTHING, HEAVEN

Ask the group to explain what they believe the author is saying. When have they had similar contrasting thoughts in a life situation? Then lead into Bible study by saying, “There are times when we believe all is lost and times when we are incredibly hopeful. It is possible that those contrasting feelings happen at the same time! When writing to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul made a similar observation. Although there were reasons to believe that his situation was the worst of times, he had reasons to rejoice.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Familiarize your group with good news/ bad news jokes such as this one.

The doctor called and told his patient that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that the patient had 24 hours to live. The bad news was that he forgot to call yesterday!

Note that these jokes usually tell what appears to be good news, followed by explaining that it is really bad news. The apostle Paul, in writing to the Philippians does just the opposite. He tells the bad news and explains that it is, in truth, good news.

Divide the class into three groups, asking them to find at least one bad news/good news pair in one of these sections of our text:

Group one—Philippians 1:12-14

Group two—Philippians 1:15-18

Group three—Philippians 1:19-21

Give them about five minutes to work before sharing and discussing their work with the whole group. Some examples might be.

The bad news is that I am in prison. The good news is that I have gotten to share the gospel with the whole palace guard (Philippians 1:13).

The bad news is that some are preaching, hoping that they can make a name for themselves in the church while I am in prison. The good news is that they are preaching the gospel (Philippians 1:15-18).

The bad news is that my prison sentence may end with my execution. The good news is that no one can take eternal life from me (Philippians 1:21).

January 13: Submit to God (James 4:1-10)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the Friendly Feud activity here. Perform the activity according to the printed directions.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “We recognize that there are things in our lives that need to change. Many make resolutions this time of year to make some of those changes. James spoke of things in our lives that need to change as well. Let’s look at those and see what can be done about them.”

 

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Write these three headings on the board:

Stop Fighting! (James 4:1-3)

Make Friends! (James 4:4, 5)

Get Serious! (James 4:6-10)

Have volunteers read one passage at a time aloud. Then have class members brainstorm resolutions for a better life found in that section of the text. List them under the correct column as they are called out. Some sample resolutions follow:

Stop Fighting! (James 4:1-3)

Control desires

Pray to God for your needs

Ask for the right things

Make Friends! (James 4:4, 5)

Separate from the world

Get closer to God

Get Serious! (James 4:6-10)

Submit to God

Resist Satan

Repent

Find true humility

January 6: Walk in Love (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5; 2 John 4-11)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Explain that when traveling in a foreign land, a guidebook comes in handy. Help your group create a traveler’s guidebook for Christ’s church as we travel through life. Divide your class into four groups. Give groups pen and paper and Bibles. They should use the cited Scripture passages to summarize their chapters in the traveler’s guide.

Chapter 1: Take the Freeway (2 Thessalonians 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Chapter 2: Help Rescue Vehicles (2 Thessalonians 3:2; Ephesians 6:18-20)

Chapter 3: Stay in Your Lane (2 John 10; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13)

Chapter 4: Join the Caravan (2 John 4; 1 John 1:3-5, 7)

Give groups about 15 minutes to work, helping them understand their texts as needed. Our sample traveler’s guide follows:

Take the Freeway (2 Thessalonians 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-3)—As we and others travel this earth that is not our home, we appreciate freeways. We pray that the pathways that allow us to share the gospel freely are never blocked by restrictive laws or persecution.

Help Rescue Vehicles (2 Thessalonians 3:2; Ephesians 6:18-20)—We want rescuers to come to the aid of those imperiled as quickly as possible. We may enjoy freedom to share the Word of God, but in many parts of the world this is not so. It is the responsibility of those of us enjoying such freedom to support organizations that seek to help persecuted believers.

Stay in Your Lane (2 John 10; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13)—Helping a reckless driver go forward unhindered can make us an unwitting accessory his recklessness. Likewise, there will be those who want believers to move aside so they can teach things extremely foreign to the Word of God. We must confront false teachers among us and not simply let them pass.

Join the Caravan (2 John 4; 1 John 1:3-5, 7)—When passing through hostile territory, it is advisable to journey with fellow-pilgrims for safety. Others are making the same journey to our shared heavenly home. When we travel together, we increase our knowledge and commitment to truth and avoid the dangers that falsehood brings.

To encourage personal application:

Download the Church SWOT Analysis  here. Make copies for every three to five students. Allow class members to work in groups to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats your congregation faces as you seek to spread the gospel, support fellow believers, and confront false teaching.

December 30: Love God and Serve Others (Matthew 25:31-46)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Before class, collect several fundraising letters and/or emails that you have received. Discuss which of these appeals you would be most likely to answer with a donation. Discuss motives people have for charitable giving.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “People may give out of a sense of obligation, for recognition, or because of a perceived benefit to themselves or loved ones. But Jesus spoke of a very different reason to give.”

To encourage personal application:

Download the “To the Lord” activity here. End class by distributing a copy of the activity to each class member. Encourage them to choose a verse or two as a reminder that we are encouraged to see our interaction with others as interactions with Jesus himself. Briefly discuss how that perspective can shape our attitude toward giving.

December 23: Love God for the Gift of Jesus (Luke 1:26-31; 2:22, 25-35)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Welcoming a New Baby” activity here. Before class, make a copy for each class member. Give them about five minutes to work on the worksheet individually or cooperatively.

Then have them share their answers. The correct responses are: 1=VITAMINS, 2=OBSTETRICIAN, 3=ULTRASOUND, 4=CHILDBIRTH, 5=NURSERY, 6=PEDIATRICIAN, 7=SHOWER, 8=NAME, 9=CAR SEAT, 10=HOSPITAL, 11=DIAPERS, 12=COLLEGE.

Move into Bible study by saying, “Even before a child is born, parents begin to plan for the future. Mary and Joseph did the same thing! Let’s look at some of those preparations.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into three groups, giving each group pen and paper and one of the following sections of the text. Ask them to read the texts and to try to summarize them with a couplet (two rhyming lines) Give groups about 15 minutes to complete their work. (For a shortened class period, write our sample couplets on separate pieces of poster board. Use those couplets to help explain each text after reading it aloud.)

The PROMISE of a son (Luke 1:26-31)

The PRESENTATION of a son (Luke 2:22, 23, 27b)

The PREDICTIONS about a son (Luke 2:25-27a, 28-35)

Have groups present their couplets. They may be similar to these.

PROMISEGabriel’s promise provoked wonder and fears/News that Mary would bear a child seemed strange to her ears.

PRESENTATIONMary and Joseph did what God willed/So the law of Moses would be fulfilled.

PREDICTIONSJesus had come to rescue the lost/But this act would happen at a great cost.

December 16: Love and Worship God (Psalm 103:1-17a, 21, 22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “What They Are REALLY Saying” activity here. Before class, make a copy for each class member. Place them on chairs as class members arrive. Class members should review the backhanded compliments there.

When everyone has arrived, and have had a few minutes to review the worksheet, ask for volunteers to choose one or two of the backhanded compliments there and try to explain their disguised meaning. Lead into Bible study by saying, “We can easily recognize empty compliments and cleverly disguised insults. On the other hand, we know when we are given well-deserved recognition. What does that mean for us when we attempt to praise God? The psalmist gives God heartfelt credit to God for who he is and what he does.”

To encourage personal application:

On the board write:

“When I think about how God ____________________, I can’t help but ____________________.”

Help your group brainstorm ways to fill in the blanks to close this session.

December 9: Love and Serve God (Joshua 24:1-3, 13-15, 21-24)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into three groups, giving each group pen and paper and one of these assignments:

Recall the Past—Joshua 24:1-3

Reject Idolatry—Joshua 24:13-15

Resolve to Be Loyal—Joshua 24:21-24

Give groups about fifteen minutes to read their portion of the lesson text and use the underlined word from their summary statement to create acrostic poems. When group work is done, have groups share their work to summarize the main points of the text. Here are some sample acrostics:

Remember

Every blessing that

Came

Abundantly from the

Lord to

Leaders of the past.

———————————-

Refuse to

Enrage our

Jealous God by

Engaging in worship of

Counterfeit gods.

Trust the Holy One of Israel.

———————————-

Reject

Evil and

Strive to

Obey the

Lord

Voluntarily

Evermore.

To encourage personal application:

Download the “Idol Investigation” worksheet here. Make copies for all class members.

Distribute this activity to close class. Encourage class members to use it throughout the week to help them identify and put away idols in their lives.

December 2: Love and Obey God (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

The following statements are different definitions of the same word. Read them slowly, pausing after each one. Allow class members to respond when they think they can identify the word being defined:

  • in the game of solitaire, a card of given denomination on which other cards are to be added according to denomination or suit.
  • an undergarment designed to alter the wearer’s body shape, to achieve a more fashionable figure.
  • an institution created to aid research, education, the arts, etc.
  • the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests.
  • a cosmetic, as a cream or liquid, used as a base for facial makeup.
  • the basis or groundwork of anything.
  • the moral underpinnings of a society.
  • the lowest division of a building lying partly or wholly below the surface of the ground.

These are all definitions of the word, foundation. When this is guessed, read the remaining clues. Then lead into a study of the Scripture text with these words, “In all cases, laying a foundation is ‘square one,’ the starting point needed when building something of stability. Today we will look at principles recognized as foundational for the people of God.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Moses Responds” worksheet  here. Make a copy for each group of three to five class members. Give groups about twenty minutes to read the quotes and cited portions of the lesson text and to formulate a response.

November 25: God’s Blessing (Genesis 30:22-32,43)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Counting Jacob’s Blessings” worksheet here. Make a copy for each group of three to five class members. Divide the class into groups of three to five, giving each a copy of the worksheet. Give groups 15 minutes to read the main text and supporting texts to help them complete it according to the printed directions.

After groups have completed their work, have them share their findings. Here are the expected answers:

I=FAMILY; I-A=2; I-B=6; I-C=8; II=CAREER; II-A=4; II-B=1; II-C=7; III=PROSPERITY; III-A=3; III-B=5

To encourage personal application:

Create a simple, but meaningful, decoration for the classroom for the coming Christmas season. Before class, prepare enough 1”x6” slips of red and green construction paper so each class member can have several. Close the class time by allowing the group to think about ways they have been blessed. Make the slips of paper and a felt-tipped marker available for each class member. Ask class members to write a single blessing on single slips of paper. Have them take their slips to the front of the room and tape the ends of each slip together, attaching each loop to another as a chain. Close in individual prayers of thanks for these blessings and more!

November 18: Jacob’s Dream (Genesis 28:10-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Agreements of Peace” activity sheet here. Make a copy of the activity page for your answer key. Cut the other copy apart on the dotted lines. After all class members have arrived, shuffle the slips of paper and distribute them among the class members. Give your group about five minutes to match a conflict with the agreement that ended it.

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Historically, conflicts end with a written agreement of peace. Jacob’s early life was filled with family conflict, but the roots of the battle were much deeper. When Jacob was living on the run, God came down and gave instructions for peace.”

To encourage personal application:

On the board, write Jacob’s vow from Genesis 28:20, 21, interspersed with references to Jesus’ promises to his followers.

If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking (Matthew 28:19, 20) and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear (Matthew 6:23) so that I return safely to my father’s household (Matthew 19:27-29) then the Lord will be my God.

Have volunteers read the cited words of Jesus from Matthew and discuss how they relate to portions of Jacob’s vow. Give class members pen and paper. Using those thoughts have them create a personal agreement of peace between themselves and God.

November 11: Jacob’s Deception (Genesis27:5-10, 18, 19, 21-29)

By Teacher Tips

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “It’s a Conspiracy!” quiz here. Make copies for each group of three to five class members. Divide the class into groups and give them fifteen minutes to match deceivers with deceptions. Then reveal the answers. They are: 1=e, 2=n, 3=i, 4=m, 5=g, 6=a, 7=b, 8=l, 9=d, 10=f, 11=h, 12=k, 13=c, 14=j

Conclude by quickly summarizing today’s text—the deception to steal Isaac’s blessing from Esau.

To encourage personal application:

Write this quote on the board: “Half the truth is often a great lie.”—Benjamin Franklin

Wrap up the session by discussing the quote. What do you think it means? Can you give an example of it? When have you been tempted to tell a half-truth rather than the whole truth?

If you have time, follow up by brainstorming ways people deceive one another with their words and actions. Some items on your list may be: white lies, exaggeration, use of abstract language, cover-up, omission of important facts, avoiding a question, etc.  Close in individual prayer in which class members ask God for forgiveness for purposely deceiving others.

November 4: Siblings’ Rivalry (Genesis 25:19-34)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Sibling Match” quiz here. Make copies for every class member. As class members arrive, allow them to work together to complete this very difficult matching exercise. When all have arrived and have had a chance to work on the quiz, share the answers. They are: 1=e, 2=n, 3=i, 4=m, 5=g, 6=a, 7=b, 8=l, 9=d, 10=f, 11=h, 12=k, 13=c, 14=j

Lead into Bible study by saying, “Sometimes two siblings are so different that we do not associate one with another. In extreme cases, some siblings are so different that they have great difficulty in getting along. Jacob and Esau, though twins, could not have been more different from each other.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into groups of three to five members each. Give them pen and paper, making sure they have copies of the lesson text. Give them 10–15 minutes to create rap sheets (criminal profiles) of Jacob and Esau. Their profiles should include names, aliases, known associates, known hideouts, and personality descriptions.

The finished products should be similar to these:

JacobAliases: Heel Grabber (the Deceiver), Israel (Struggler); Known Associates:  Isaac (father), Rebekah (mother), Esau (twin brother); Known Hideouts: among the tents; Personality Description:  deceptive, manipulative

EsauAliases: Hairy, Edom (Red); Known Associates:  Isaac (father), Rebekah (mother), Jacob (twin brother); Known Hideouts: open country, hunting grounds; Personality Description:  driven by his appetites

Allow groups to share their profiles. Wrap up the activity by saying, “No, Jacob and Esau were not criminals. But they certainly seem to be unlikely characters to appear in the line of Abraham! Furthermore, their distinct personality traits would have put them at odds with each other.”

October 28: The Marriage of Isaac (Genesis 24:12-21, 61-67)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Read the following news story to the class:

In April of this year, a Georgia woman was arrested for reckless driving. This incident gained national attention when the body camera footage from one of the officers revealed how the choice between arresting Sarah Webb and giving her a ticket was made.

The video revealed that officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson consulted with one another and decided to determine the fate of Webb by flipping a coin. Webb was arrested but did not know about the coin flip until a local reporter discovered the content of the body camera footage and informed her.

Charges against Webb were dropped. Brown and Wilson were placed on administrative leave and later fired after the incident was fully investigated.

Ask class member why they believe it was just that the officers were fired. (They used a random method in making a decision that affected the life of another.) Talk about when a random decision making is appropriate. (For example, choosing a contest winner, deciding which team kicks off in a football game, etc.) Briefly discuss other methods of making consequential decisions.

After your discussion, lead into Bible study by saying, “There are times in life when we can make random decisions. In those cases, when all options are equal, that may be appropriate. But in other circumstances, people must make crucial choices between options that are not at all equal. The continuation of Abraham’s line required those types of decisions. Let’s see how those involved in that decision behaved.”

To encourage personal application:

Download the “Seeking the Will of God” worksheet here. Make copies for every class member. Distribute the worksheets and briefly review the instructions. Ask class members to use the worksheet as a take-home activity to incorporate into their quiet time next week.

October 21: The Birth of the Promised Son (Genesis18:9-15; 21:1-7)

By Teacher Tips

Download the “What’s So Funny” quiz here. Make copies for every class member. As class members arrive, have the copies of the quiz on the chairs so that they can begin immediately. Encourage them to work together, not because it is difficult, but because laughter is better shared!

After giving class members time to work, allow them to share their answers. The correct answers are: 1=d, 2=b, 3=g, 4=k, 5=h, 6=l, 7=i, 8=f, 9=j, 10=a, 11=c, 12=e. Then discuss the activity briefly by asking why we, even as children, liked to tell jokes. What are some elements that make a joke funny?

Lead into Bible study by saying, “We like to tell jokes because we want to give others joy. Wouldn’t we expect God to feel the same way? Jokes are funny because they have punchlines that are unexpected.  Amid the suffering of a broken world, God told a joke that would give ultimate joy. And it was funny because it was so unexpected. Let’s examine the account of the son who was called “Laughter!”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Divide the class into groups of three to five class members each. Give each group pen and paper and assign them to create a diary entry by Sarah based on either Genesis 18:9-15 or Genesis 21:1-7. Each diary entry should have these elements:

  • How Sarah would describe her laughter in this passage with a single word
  • Some thoughts going through Sarah’s mind as she laughed
  • Feeling resulting when others heard Sarah’s laughter

Move among the groups as they work. Help them think through their assignments. Their entries may look like these:

Genesis 18:9-15 laughter—I laughed today. It really wasn’t a good laugh. I think I would call it a skeptical laugh.  It was one of those sneering, bitter laughs that failed to bring warmth but rather a coldness that chilled me to my bones. “What a joke!” I fumed. How could God make such an outrageous promise to someone who has been so deeply disappointed by barrenness? Of course, as soon as my sour chuckle escaped my lips, I was embarrassed by my hostility. When asked if I laughed, I quickly denied it.

Genesis 21:1-7 laughter—I laughed again today. But it was a far different laugh than the one that came from me just nine months earlier. This was not a secret, embarrassed laugh, but one I call my shared laugh. My husband understood my joyous laughter. In fact, Abraham insisted we call the boy Isaac, which means “laughter!” Instead of wallowing in the bitterness of my childless years, I rejoiced in the faithfulness of God who performed an unheard-of miracle! Instead of hiding my laughter, I encouraged others to laugh with me! We now laugh together in the face of any disappointment, sorrow, or pain.  If God could give me a child at my age, could he not wipe away any other challenge people face?

October 14: The Call of Abram (Genesis 10:1; 11:10, 27, 31, 32; 12:1-4)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Download the “Family Tree” activity here. Make a copy for each class member. Distribute copies and pens and have class members try to trace back their lineage as far as they can. After five minutes, ask class members to share how many generations back they can trace.

Lead into Bible study saying, “We might be able to trace our ancestry back a few generations. With research, we may be able to go back a few generations more.  But in Genesis we can trace the work of God in a family beginning with the flood and continuing forever!”

To encourage personal application:

Write Galatians 3:7 on the board: “Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.”

Briefly discuss how we can continue a family legacy of faith into the next generation. Ask, “Can you think of a time in your family history in which faith in the God of Abraham marked a turning point for your family?”

Distribute paper and pens. Close this session by asking class members to write a short letter to the next generation describing that turning point. Encourage them to follow that example of faith.

October 7: The Righteousness of Noah (Genesis 6:9b-22)

By Teacher Tips

To begin the session:

Find a sample family emergency plan template on sites such as these: https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/General_Preparedness___Recovery/Home/ARC_Family_Disaster_Plan_Template_r083012.pdf

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/0e3ef555f66e22ab832e284f826c2e9e/FEMA_plan_parent_508_071513.pdf

https://www.ready.marines.mil/Portals/208/Docs/Factsheets/Kit_Plan/FamilyPlanForm.pdf

Make copies of one or more of these plans and distribute one to each class member. Give them a few minutes to review the document. Then discuss it with these questions:

  1. Do you have a family emergency plan? What elements of this plan would you incorporate into your family emergency plan?
  2. Why are such plans helpful? Why might many not take the time to make such a plan?
  3. What other elements would you include in such a plan?

Lead into Bible study by, “Disasters happen. It seems wise to identify possible threats and to look for ways to respond to them. God told Noah of an impending disaster and what to do about it.”

To engage the learners in a study of the Scripture text:

Download the “Noah—Chief Safety Officer” activity here. Make copies for each group of three to five students. Distribute these copies and give groups about 15 minutes to complete the activity according to the printed instructions.

The expected answers are:

  • Refuse to become complacent due to the apathy of others (v. 9b).
  • Prepare your children for what is to come, not just yourself (v. 10).
  • Be listening to reliable authority for early warnings (vv. 11-13).
  • Use materials that will withstand the expected disaster (v. 14).
  • Think big! Make sure that your supplies are more than adequate for what is to come (vv. 15, 16).
  • Expect the worst (v. 17).
  • Understand the statutes that will govern rebuilding (v. 18; see also 9:1-1).
  • Know how the recovery will be sustained and prepare accordingly (vv. 19, 20).
  • Prepare for expected shortages of supplies after the disaster passes (vv. 21-22).