At about 22 years, I started teaching a Bible study class for ninth-grade boys. Our class met behind a screen at the back of the church auditorium. I loved teaching the Bible to the guys and would often get lost in all the details of a passage. The guys seemed to listen to me, but every week I was caught off-guard when the organ began to play. I would rush to finish up the lesson. I seldom landed the lesson well. I think my teaching lacked something.

Our goal is to teach the Bible. But, teaching involves more than talking about the details of a passage. Bible study needs to connect learners to what a passage teaches. Learners need to be affected by the Big Idea of the passage you are studying. Being effective at doing that is going to require us to begin our preparation early. Start by reading the passage over several times. It’s best if you read it multiple times over several days. Somehow the Holy Spirit speaks to us more deeply as we allow ourselves to soak in the passage. Make notes as you read. If you find words or phrases you don’t understand, look them up in a commentary or Bible dictionary. Then, ask yourself, “What is the Big Idea of this passage?” Try to write that truth in one sentence. I find two questions to be helpful: 1) What is the passage talking about? And 2) What is the passage saying about what it is talking about? (You would be right to say 1 Corinthians 13 is talking about love, but what is it saying about love?) This careful thought helps you to define the Big Idea of the passage.

The next planning step is essential: If your learners really get this Big Idea—if they understand it to the point they can almost taste it—what would be different about their lives? The answer to this question will tell you where your Bible study needs to END. And that ending is too important to be rushed.

Use everything in the study to guide them toward a rich understanding of that one point. Use whatever teaching tool you think will help them to connect with the Big Idea. Everything you do—from the silly joke you tell to get things started until the last commitment they write on an index card—should lead to them to understanding, taste, that one Big Idea.

The end of the lesson is not communicating a point; it is seeing the lives of learners transformed by the word of God. It takes careful thought and planning to prepare to teach that kind of lesson, but that is teaching worth the investment.


Read More

Estate Planning

Since an individual’s wise financial planning has recently blessed Gateweay in a significant way, Dr. Iorg encourages others to do likewise by considering an estate plan through the Baptist Foundation of California.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

The Trinity in Scripture

Is the doctrine of the Trinity found in the Scriptures? The answer to this question is vital.

Carlos Pamplona
Writer | Ph.D. Student
Carlos Pamplona is a bilingual Mexican-American currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Gateway Seminary. His research focuses on the theological doctrine of adoption. In addition, he is a writer and speaker for Reasonable Truth.

Listen

10 Questions with 10 Pastors
February 6, 2023

Hector Medina

This week on Ten Questions with Ten Pastors, guest Hector Medina discusses church planting, maintaining a healthy ministry-life balance and what it means to love your hometown.
Lead On Podcast
February 5, 2023

Developing Volunteers in Ministry

Every church needs a strategy to raise up and deploy volunteers in their ministry. In this episode Dr. Iorg discusses how to cultivate and responsibly supervise volunteers in your ministry.

Watch

Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!