A routine is, “a customary or regular course of procedure.” For a person who leads a group, this is a good thing. Developing a “procedure” that you follow on a regular basis helps you be your best as you help people discover the great truths that are in God’s Word.
A routine is, “an unvarying and constantly repeated formula.” For some people this is an easy thing. It’s easy to come up with their formula of how they work on their Bible study each week. Developing a routine is a snap! Because that is how they are wired. Their lives are a picture of “routine.” For others who are wired differently, their routine will look very different.
If you are wired toward routines, then getting started with your study for next week will probably begin the next day after you have just led your group. You might begin by reading the text, reading it in many translations to find nuances. The next day you might begin to look at commentaries or other study materials and then you will begin to look for ways to illustrate your study. If you like to lead by discussion, then you will begin to ask questions of the text and seek to come up with good open ended discussion questions for the study.
If you are wired in such a way that routines are a struggle for you, then what I just described is foreign to you. Your study and preparation might be more spontaneous. You might begin by reading the text, and then you may find inspiration in a song or a movie or TV show. You might see the truth of the text in one of these forms and that will lead you to questions to answer and needs to meet that are in the text. You might then begin to look at commentaries and study materials that will help you understand the truth of the text.
In both cases, your routine should include the consideration of “WHO” you are leading in the study of God’s Word and “WHO” you are trying to reveal in the Word. The point is that we all need a routine, we all have a routine. Find your rhythm in how you prepare to teach the wonderful truths of God’s Word. Be true to your routine and make sure that it is a good routine and not an excuse to be lazy or to be unprepared. The person who tries to throw something together on Saturday night before the group on Sunday morning because they are “waiting on the Spirit to lead them” is probably just not willing to do the work to be an effective teacher.
Make sure that your routine is a healthy one!