Hook, Book, Look and Took remain excellent handles for structuring, developing, delivering and evaluating a Bible lesson! These four simple words were first introduced to me during my seminary days through a required reading book by Lawrence Richards, entitled “Creative Bible Teaching.” (Lawrence O. Richards, “Creative Bible Teaching,” Moody Press, 1976.) Occasionally someone says to me, “Gary, we want deeper Bible study.” I usually respond, “Okay, how much time are you giving to lesson application?”
GET DEEP. A teacher is to guide people to understand the scriptures and to live it out! From my prospective, you can not get any deeper into scripture than focusing the very words of scripture on Monday morning! When an in-depth Bible lesson moves the text toward Monday or the ‘work-a-day’ world of the learner, you move the group toward genuine deeper- life Bible study. I do not want to be too redundant, but these elements all fit together. A life application Bible lesson requires giving time within the lesson for all of these elements:
- Book – what does the passage say? Do not try to apply something that is not there. A life lesson must get into the Book and discover the truth of the scripture passage. The learner must take a serious look at what the text says before he or she will move to make adjustments in their life.
- Look – how should this truth impact our lives? Examine how the Bible lesson should impact life on Monday morning and throughout the coming week. Seldom will the learner understand and internalize the truth unless they can interact or relate to the truth. Most often application requires learner involvement and participation.
- Took – how will I adjust my life? Give a brief invitation. (I will deal specifically with Took in my next post). Every lesson needs a closing moment to allow the learner to decide if what they have experienced is to be life-changing. Application does require a broad Look at how the passage applies to us, but it also requires a personal Look at how it applies to me.
RELIVANCE. Many Bible teachers have wrestled with the desire to dig deeper into the Word of God. I just want to caution the Bible teacher to make sure each lesson has adequate time for life-changing application before you strive to go any deeper. I am not always sure what a teacher really wants when they ask for deeper life lessons. In my mind, most ongoing Bible study should be a “ministry of encouragement to live out God’s word.” Relevance is essential for life-change, spiritual growth and living God’s word.
LEARNER INVOLVEMENT. Many Bible teachers have wrestled with learner involvement and relevance during lesson application time. Remember, application usually requires some learner involvement and therefore, some creativity. Often teachers have a class member(s) who are reluctant to participate in any way and at the same time have a class member(s) who dominate the class time and can cause “rabbit chasing.” This “rabbit chasing” is not Bible study! It may seem as though the best way to comfortably control the situation is to lecture most of the hour.
TRIADS? To bring balance to class time, I urge teachers to consider discussion triads when asking questions, seeking opinions or getting reactions. Clusters of three, with an assignment that can be completed in a few moments, allows the leader to guide discussion, and still guard the time.
PREPARE FOR A DECISION. Again, the Look, the lesson application element, is aided by learner involvement, implication and self-evaluation. Look allows the learner to prepare this heart for the final moments of class time where he must decide if he will place this truth into life.