Aim for Growth

A vague Sabbath School lesson aim will usually result in vague teaching. Here’s how to determine your lesson aim and then accomplish it.

  • Don’t necessarily adopt the lesson aim stated in your curriculum. That aim is broad enough to apply to thousands of classes. Consider the needs of your class, then adapt the aim and lesson to it.
  • Let the Scripture passage begin working in your life before you teach it to others. Read the passage several times, perhaps over a period of a week -- or at least several days. Jot down what God communicates to you through the passage.
  • Now reread the Scripture passage along with the related study material. Which parts of the curriculum will work well with your class members? Delete, add, edit. Don’t be afraid to deviate. And don’t try to teach too much -- keep your time limits in mind.
  • Write down the aim for your class. Be concise and specific.
  • Make sure your aim enables your class members to accomplish at least one of these goals:
  1. Acquire new information -- about God, man, salvation, Christian living, etc.
  2. Change an attitude.
  3. Change a behavior.

Let’s say you are studying John 13 -- Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Your class members will acquire the information that Jesus served others. But teaching should not stop there. Perhaps your class members will rethink their old attitude about serving -- that it is to be avoided -- and gain a new attitude: Serving is good because it is Christlike. Now you have accomplished something in your class members’ lives.

The moment of ecstasy for a teacher, however, is when the changed attitude leads to a change in behavior. That moment occurs when Dick pipes up and says, “Hey, maybe we should find a way to serve our community. The soup kitchen down on Main Street needs helpers. Maybe we could get involved. Let’s volunteer!”

Knowledge becomes learning when it is translated into a life-changing action. This is more likely to happen when you begin a Bible study with a well thought-out, specific aim for your class members’ spiritual growth.

This article originally appeared in Discipleship Journal. Reprinted by permission.


Sue Kline
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists