The worst kind of introduction is perhaps the most common: “Open your Bibles today to . . .” Most teachers who use that kind of introduction have an attendance problem.
This kind of introduction assumes people are interested. Happily, some of them are. I would be. If you used that introduction with me, I’d be fine with it. I’d gladly give you my attention to discover what the Word says in that particular passage.
But, the truth is, most people wouldn’t be that interested. Most people are not staying up nights thinking, “I wonder what John 11 is about.”
Consequently, people don’t give you their full attention. They might look like they are paying attention. They are polite. But their mind is only half there. They are giving you what Linda Stone calls Continuous Partial Attention.
Effective Bible Teachers want more than continuous partial attention. They want full-bodied, all-out attention. They want people on the edge of their seats. They want people to be fascinated by the gospel. Fascinated. Literally, their attention fastened. A good introduction is where that starts.
Often, although not always, I use an introduction before the introduction. This is about rapport building. This is about connecting. This is about being human.
It is talking about the local high school football game. It is giving an update on the surgery. It might be talking about the weather or the latest news. It is about letting them know you are human and live in the same world as they do.
I am a big fan of video teaching. But, there are some things video can never do. Video cannot connect like a human can. Before you break open the Word, say hello.