As I sit at my desk this morning after having completed my lessons for the upcoming Bible workshop, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you what many of my days look like. My purpose in sharing these details is so they might shed some light on the heart attitude as well as the many practical details. Much of my time is spent preparing for the opportunities that lie ahead. If you know my story, you know that I take God’s word seriously. It’s my desire that I might represent our Lord well and respect his Word as I teach and counsel. A day in the life of a Bible teacher includes humility and gratitude as I am preparing for the work ahead. God expects me to do my part and I seek to do it well. What does my prep work look like while I’m leading a weekly Bible study, teaching a theology class, planning a Bible workshop, and counseling two days a week?
It’s essential that I prepare my heart.
The number one priority is to prepare my own heart and mind. I seek God in prayer and Word while asking his Holy Spirit to work within me. I simply cannot approach the work I do rightly if my own heart is not where I can best be used. It’s God’s work I seek to be a part of and it’s only because of his kindness that I am allowed to participate. I am at the mercy of God’s Spirit because ultimately, He accomplishes the work. Only when this groundwork is laid, can I begin to follow the practical steps in my preparation.
I’m old school.
For the most part, I’m old school. I use three ring binders storing lesson notes, handouts, and additional helps pertinent to each lesson. I find that using the binders helps with organization, compartmentalizing my thoughts in the prep time for each class, and provides ease in presentation of my lesson content. My preference is to use the Calibri 14 font with the text double spaced. Most times, the printed lessons work best for me but I have been known to read commentary from my Logos software while using their app on my phone.
I make use of digital resources.
I enjoy having my tangible books but my Logos Bible software is a game changer when it comes to resources. I have been able to build my library in a short period of time due to their free book offerings each month, as well as savings on many digital books versus those in print. I can also easily copy/paste to my lessons with the source credits automatically included. I consult a variety of commentaries after working through the passage for the Wednesday night Bible study, systematic and historical theologies for the theology class, and books on Bible interpretation for the workshops. In addition, I can utilize the workflow section on Logos when preparing for counseling days. The Logos workflow allows me to work up a plan using my digital resources.
I make use of digital tools.
In addition to Logos, I use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint as digital tools. These tools are crucial for the theology class and Bible workshops. I create handouts and screen presentations using the main points from my completed lessons. I easily access documents or presentations from my phone using apps with One Drive.
I intentionally create space for the Holy Spirit’s input.
As time allows, I pull information from previous lessons to compile as intro and this is especially helpful in the Bible study class. Then, I revisit my lesson a few hours before class time, pray, read, and think through it to make revisions for clarity. I often find myself omitting or adding to what I’ve prepared.
Most times, I include other trustworthy women in my teaching ministry.
Preparation for the workshops is more a lengthy process that requires further planning and administration. I have a wonderful team of ladies alongside me for the workshops and simply put, I couldn’t do this alone. Any success in these workshops is because God himself is at work in the lives of women. And when I get positive feedback, I know it is He who has been at work in the process.
I rely on my training, the Bible, Bible based resources, and the Holy Spirit in my counseling ministry.
Preparation for counseling varies with each individual case. For those ladies who might be new, I use forms for information gathering (PDI) and if I know why she is seeking counsel, I consider my resources and appropriate scripture. Once our routine meetings are established, a plan is laid out and we work together with hopes to improve the issue for which she has come. Prayer, listening, scripture, and the work of God’s Holy Spirit are vital elements to success in counseling ministry.
I am willing but He alone is able.
Yes, I am a willing vessel whom I believe God has given specific ministries as I function within the body of my local church but as always, it is He that produces fruit. May He alone receive the glory. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” – 1 Cor. 3:6-7