Intimacy with God, powerful encounters, fresh revelation, and more are the fruit of students spending time reading and studying the Word of God. Creating space for students to engage with the Word of God is an important aspect of a school’s curriculum plan. Bible instruction at BSSM is designed to help students encounter the Lord through His written Word. Students are assigned a Bible reading plan, receive weekly instruction on foundational themes presented in the Bible, and can take additional Bible electives throughout the year. Through these options, students not only encounter the Lord, but learn how to study the Bible, identifying truth in its context to the original readers and how to apply that truth in the present day.
However, trying to cover the entire Bible in a school year can be a daunting task, especially in a part-time school environment. We spoke with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry Lead Bible Instructor, Rich Schmidt, and have three keys that will help you determine how to teach the Bible.
The Bible is like an encyclopedia, meaning that it has a lot of information about a lot of different topics. Determine what you want your students learning from their Bible reading and instruction and start developing your Bible instruction expectations from there. Here are two questions that will help you define and articulate your school’s expectations:
- Is the purpose of the school’s Bible reading study or devotion?
- What is a reasonable amount of text for your students to read each day/week/month?
After answering these questions, you can start to prioritize the themes, topics, and books you’d like to cover throughout the school year. For example, if devotional time is the primary focus of Bible reading and you expect students to read three chapters a week, your Bible assignments probably won’t include the book of Numbers.
Reading the Bible is not a chore or simply a routine. It is part of our conversing with God! Your students may need to learn the best way for them to engage with the Word of God. Some students do well with independent reading during their quiet time; others may understand more when they are able to discuss what they’ve read with a partner; others may find listening to an audio Bible or using a visual Bible may be better suited for them. With Bible reading assignments, explore different ways to engage your students with the assigned material.
There are several options for how your students will interact with the Bible, including how they will share what they have learned. You may have all Bible content assigned as independent reading with review questions, or you could have in-class teaching and discussion around a chapter, book, or theme. Your school schedule will help you decide what format Bible instruction will look like in your environment. Take a look at the suggestions below for more ideas on how to structure Bible instruction in your school:
- Bible Reading plan: At BSSM, students are given a reading plan at the beginning of the year. Consider creating or providing a pre-made reading plan so that all of your students are reading the Word together. At the end of each month, students can write a reflection on the month’s reading.
- Study the scriptures associated with your school’s core values throughout the year: Core values are an integral part of your school. Having students study the specific scriptures that shape your core values is another way to get them engaged with the Word and internalize the values you are modeling and teaching in your environment. At BSSM, students are also assigned core value reports. In these assignments, students use scriptural references to discuss how the core value applies to their own life and the world around them.
- Bible reading and discussion in connection groups: Assign or allow groups to choose books to study together. Small group leaders/facilitators can use reflection questions to guide the group discussion on the assigned reading as part of their weekly or monthly connection time.
The final aspect of Bible curriculum and instruction is teaching style. When students see that their instructors are passionate and informed, they will begin to share that passion. If you do not have a staff member to teach the Bible, it is still possible to lead your students as they grow in their understanding of, and love for, the Word of God. Here are two tips that will help you lead your students as they explore the Bible.
- Be prepared!
- It is important to be prepared for the content and message whether you are teaching or are using the BSSM Video Curriculum. Before the school year, take time to become familiar with the content, both what is being taught and the scope and sequence of Bible instruction for the year, so that your team is ready to answer student questions and build upon what is taught in the sessions throughout the year.
- Activate your students!
- To help students engage with and process the material, prepare activations and discussion questions to help students internalize the content. At BSSM, students complete a preaching assignment. This provides students the opportunity to study the Word, prepare a message and receive feedback on their interpretation of scripture and their delivery style.
Again, teaching style is important whether you are teaching the class yourself, using curriculum, or assigning Bible content for your students outside of class. Continue to find and develop ways to stay passionate and engaged with the Word!
Developing your students in the Word is an exciting part of leading a school of ministry. See the resources below for ideas to use in your school. We bless you to create and structure Bible instruction in a way that ushers in revelation and encounters!