Writing Material So Others Can Use It – 10 Suggestions
May 8, 2012 33 Comments
I am always in pursuit of new Bible curriculum to post in the Small Group Lessons and Bible Class Archive here on the blog. I have approached quite a few people trying to get them to submit something. Most people don’t write lessons so that they can be used by others. Some of you guys probably even just scratch everything down on a notepad and go and do an excellent job that way. Others write it in a way that it only makes sense to them. No one else can just pick it up and go. That is natural. It is important to write your lessons (if you do that sort of thing) in a way that you can teach it to the best of your ability.
It is important to consider the good that can come from formatting your lessons and their flow in a way that others can pick it up and use it as well. I no longer write a lesson for it to get taught once. I write them with other teachers in mind because I don’t want it to get used one time. One reason I do that is because I have to. Some of the lessons I write are for our small groups so I am forced to write it in a way they can all teach it with ease. In addition to that though, it is important to me that if I am going to spend all that time studying that my class is not the only one to benefit from it. It is like multiplication…you write it once and it gets used hundreds or in some cases even thousands of times. That is good stewardship. I don’t say that in any judgment of those who do otherwise whatsoever.
Here are some thing to consider when writing lessons so others can use them:
- Give suggested answers on tough questions. Nothing worse than teaching a lesson and get silence and not know the answer yourself because you are teaching someone else’s material. Give them a few suggestions under the tough questions in bullet points.
- Likewise, give definitions for words that are more difficult so that people aren’t missing the point because they don’t understand what is being said. What is more someone may ask what the word means and the teacher is equipped to answer.
- Use bold headings when you start a new topic/subtopic in your lesson. If the lesson makes a turn, make it obvious to the teacher.
- Bold all scriptures so they stand out. If I want something to be read out loud I will put Read John 3:16-19
- Italicize discussion questions. This makes them stand out so that the teacher easily recognizes they are reading a question. Your intonation is different with a question and it gets kind of weird if the teacher starts of reading it as a statement rather than a question.
- End with application questions. I will typically put the heading Application at the end followed by a few questions for the group to discuss. It is vitally important that every lesson have clear application.
- If there is an exercise you want them to do I either use that instead of an application section or in addition to it.
- Put relevant prayer needs that are specific to the lesson at the end if needed or if it fits well
- If you are writing it for people you know, encourage them to see it as a guide, not a concrete outline. They know their class best and can make the lesson fit better than anyone else. Give them freedom to adjust the lesson as they see fit.
- Send the lessons to me so I can share them with the world here on this blog