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Making Class Interesting When the Passage is Boring
by Josh Hunt

All scripture is inspired by God. All scripture is equally inspired by God. But it is not all equally inspiring! Let's face it, some passages are a pretty hard read. Harder still to create a stimulating discussion. Here are some tips to make class interesting when the passage is boring.


The Bible was written over a long period of time to a variety of people with a variety of needs. Some passages were not really written for us, and it makes sense that they do not apply to us directly. We can be thankful we have these passage and appreciative of their God-inspired quality while candidly acknowledging that they are not as inspiring as some other parts of the Bible


Class visioning, organization, evaluation and health

When the text is boring, you might spend a little extra time on issues related to the class, but not related to the text. Spend some time evaluating how the group feels about your experience together. Set some goals. Cast a vision. Get organized. Plan some fellowships. Get as many people with roles and tasks as you can. Get an inreach leader, outreach leader, fellowship leader, etc.

Group Life

Group life has two goals: to get to know the Bible and to get to know one another. When the passage is boring, spend a little time getting to know one another. Have one person each week share their testimony, or let the group get to interview them.

Quiet time accountability

I was talking to a friend the other day about how I love my life. I work out of a home office and am self-employed. I get up on my own, take a bath and show up for work without a boss. I love it. I am one of those people for whom work is more fun than play. I tend to have to discipline myself to play with my kids more than I discipline myself to do my work. My friend looked me in the eye and said, "I could never do what you do. If I tired I would sleep in, read the sports page, watch CNN, fritter around and next thing you know it would be 11:30 and I wouldn't have done a thing." Then he looked at me and said, "And I think more people are like me than like you." I think he is right. Most people need external forms of accountability. They need people to ask them from time to time, "What are you and God talking about these days? What have you read in your quiet time?" If the passage is boring, you could spend some time on this with great profit.

Teach the topic

Sometimes you can summarize the meaning of the passage into a Biblical principle and talk about that principle. In Leviticus you might derive a principle about holiness or worship or atonement and talk about that topic.

Teach cross references and related passages

"This reminds me of another passage. . ." And off you go to that other passage!

Zoom in: Look for details in the text

Sometimes one work is enough to create a good lesson. I have done a whole sermon on the word "beloved." From a homiletical viewpoint it was not one of my best, but it sure was well received. There is a passage in one of the gospels that says, "Go, tell the disciples and Peter. . ." There is a great lesson in those two words, "and Peter."

Take it as a challenge

I have talked to snow skiers who see themselves as expert skiers except, "I don't sky powder well, and mogals kind of trip me up and everyone hates ice and steep slopes are not my forte and, and, and. . ." The deal is, this is snow skiing. It is about mogals and steep slopes and powder and so on. If you can't ski that, you can't ski. Teachers are sometimes the same way. They can do a bang up job in Philippians 2, but drop them in the middle of Numbers somewhere and they are outta here. Take it as a challenge. You are a good teacher. Good teachers make difficult passages interesting.

Zoom out - teach the context

Lots of believers know the stories of the Bible, but they do not know the story of the Bible. Spend some time putting the difficult passage in context of the whole Bible story.

Fake it

Don't tell them this is a boring passage and don't be bored yourself. Find something to get excited about. If you are enthusiastic, the people will be to even if this is a difficult passage. I think it is a sin to bore people with the gospel. Get excited about something.


If worse come to worse, punt. Don't teach the boring passage. Set aside the literature. Teach something else. Far better to do that than to bore people with the gospel. The number one problem in the American Sunday School is boredom. Don't be part of the problem. Pray Ask God why he put this passage in there. Ask Him what He would have you teach His children. Ask for the meaning behind the passage. Ask for wisdom. Ask for ability. Ask for enthusiasm.





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