>As I was driving tonight, I got to thinking about, “What does a really good lesson consist of?”

Solid Biblical content/ depth

The number one complaint I hear about lessons is “lack of depth”. People want to learn something. They want to hear something they have not heard before. In my lessons, I try to include quotes from some of the greatest Bible scholars around–at least the ones who are available in WordSearch! Great teachers are always investing in great books, scanning the Internet and doing whatever they can to bring some depth to the table. Crummy teachers give Sunday School answers.


I love to laugh. In a healthy group, the group will provide the humor. It is not such a bad idea to try to find some funny stories in every lesson. Obviously, we want the story to relate to the text and the point of today’s lesson. One of the many reasons I like John Ortberg is he nearly always sprinkles a little humor into his messages. Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, and just a bit of humor makes every group better. I just ordered a couple more books so I can include good funny stories in every lesson.

Here is one I found today:

A third-grade Sunday school teacher was uneasy about the lesson “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” By way of introduction she asked, “Would someone please explain what adultery means?”

A young sage answered matter-of-factly, “Adultery is when a kid lies about his age.”

Jonathan R. Mutchler

1001 Quotes, Illustrations, and Humorous Stories: For Preachers, Teachers, and Writers.

Personal application

Big question: what do you want me to do about what I heard today? Our goal is not to make smarter sinners, but to teach people to live the John 10.10 abundant Christian life. Not, “teaching them everything I have commanded you” but, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Good lessons have lots of take-home value–something for me to do this week to make me a little more like Christ.

Lots of participation

In an ideal class, everyone participates–more or less evenly. No one is completely silent, and no one dominates the conversation. I am working an experiment in my own group where I pass out the lessons to each participant and have them take turns asking the questions. They can answer or not. It is going pretty well.

These are the things I try to include in my lessons. What do you think? What goes into a great lesson. Answer on Facebook! I will post this note and you can answer there!

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