WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? First, God desires to meet the teacher in His Word before the teacher leads group time. For the teacher, that encounter is THE lesson. Teacher, expect Him to speak to you and change you.
Second, God desires more than reciting your encounter. While a testmony is inspiring, it is not life-changing. For needed life-change to occur in lives of group members, we must lead them to open God’s Word so they can meet Him. When we do so, God speaks, convicts, and changes.
WHAT DO I DO? Start your preparation time early. Seek a personal encounter with God in His Word before you put together your plan for leading learners to do the same during group time. I read the passage several times daily during the first half of the week before I open a commentary. I want to listen to what God is saying to me before I hear what others heard. My personal steps are listen, pray, commit, and obey.
Having encountered God in His Word personally, I listen for what God desires my group to hear and do. I put together a plan to facilitate their encounter. I may call, email, or text group members with a question or assignment. During group time, we open the Bible and listen. Questions and discussion are common. Lecture, if any, will be brief. No one but God talks more than half of the time, including the teacher. When God speaks twice, lives are changed!