Planning Your Study Schedule

When you are prepping for your next Bible study, it’s important to get the details worked out ahead of time. In the midst of the Bible study you will get busy and will thank your past self for doing the hard work before the study begins. So what’s involved in creating a solid structure for your Bible study? Welcome to the three T’s of planning.

Table! Theme! Time!

Table: The Trees Before the Forest

Deciding what route you’re going for the study is essential when putting together the schedule. The details are what make creating a schedule easy.

If you decide to go the exegetical direction and teach through a book of the Bible, you’ll need to chart the book first, and then use the subsections to schedule out the study. I’ll put a post out soon on charting books of the Bible. It’s tedious, rewarding work and totally worth it!

If your study is topical, think on the main points you want to get across and write them down. Topical studies are great because you can pray through what your group would need to hear and be interested in. Then, you can go as detailed or broad as you like. For more information, take a look at my post on choosing a topic.

Theme: What’s your main message?

The work you do by charting your book or praying through your topical study will get you to your main theme. This is the forest view.

If you are doing a Bible chart, it will lead you directly to the theme of the book. All you need to do at that point is word it in a way that will draw people into your study. For example, once charting the book of James, you may find that the theme of the book is, “Stand Firm”. However, when forming it into a theme for your study, you may title it, “Know Yourself”. You will be communicating the message of standing firm but in a context that may draw more of a picture for your audience.

For a topical study, you’ve basically chosen the theme, but like with the Bible chart, you’ll need to depict the theme in a way that reaches your audience. Look at the points you have created and organize them into a cohesive flow. Find that one main message that ties them all together.

Time: How long is your study going to be?

Once you have your main theme and the subsections of that theme, you can adjust them to any length of Bible study. If you’re doing a six week Bible study, take the top tier subsections of your theme and there are your topics for each week! If it’s a twenty week study… no problem! You have the material for it! Doing the detail work upfront will help you out in the long run. Keep the work you’ve done for later use.

Reality – Don’t Be Afraid

Reality – Don’t Be Afraid

I find that when I wake up in the morning, it’s a lot easier to get up when I feel good about the potential of the day. If there is something I’m dreading or unsure about, I am compelled to not get up.

What this does is set me back in the morning to make my day worse than I’d planned. This invariably will get me to pouting about how I want a different life where I can do what I want and get up whenever I darn well please. I’ll think about how people at work are suffocating me and I’ll lean on God to get me through the day. Get me through.

There’s the problem. Were we created to get through a day or live it to the full? If I know my scripture, I’d say no day is an accident. No day is a waste. And we have been given the gift of life, the Holy Spirit, purpose, and time.

Hitting snooze, getting through, fantasizing of escape – these are all forms of running. How tempting it is to run from a reality that we are not sure of. That we just know we are incapable of. That we believe we will be a disaster in!

But wait! There’s God. The One who gives us strength in our weakness to prove to us His existence. The One who created you with an adventure in mind. God doesn’t do boring. God doesn’t do mundane. He places freedom, opportunity, and wow into the daily.

When we run from reality and distract ourselves from the present, we do more than make it through the day. We let our lives fly past us while missing the presence of God. Know that God’s sovereignty lies in the past and in the future, but His presence is with you right here. He’s created this day for you. There is a purpose for it and you have no clue what it is yet! You may meet someone that really needs a listening ear, something may need to be organized, maybe a coworker, family member, or friends needs a silent prayer from you, or maybe God is going to throw a surprise your way that causes you to feel undeservedly blessed. Who knows, but God!

The events in our schedule, the conflicts we may potentially face, or the baffling subjects we can’t seem to master will not be faced alone. God will walk us through each minute of the day. He will give us exactly what we need to accomplish what we need to.

It’s a delight to live in the presence of God and that is what we were made for. I definitely needed this reminder because today was a snooze day for me. I have an intimidating week at work. I’ve been given responsibility for something I’ve never done before and I’m really nervous about it. However, God is in the present. I don’t have to accomplish every task in this moment (even though that’s what it feels like). I will take on this project one step at a time. One day at a time. And it will get done. By the power and grace of God it will. And I will learn new skills, tuck some experience into my resume, and get to reflect at the end of the week on how amazing God is.

What a fun time!

Moral of the story: see the presence of God in your day. Enjoy the adventure He has set up for you and take things one moment at a time. God didn’t create the world in a day. He set a pattern up for us to follow. One day at a time and rest. 🙂

Have a great day today!