I recently just finished teaching through the book of Ephesians with our High School students. I think it went well, but a wise youth pastor once told me that you don’t fully understand the book until you teach it at least three times. And after teaching through Ephesians I would say he is spot on. There are many things I will do differently and better the next time I teach through Ephesians, but none the less it was a good practice.
As I taught through Ephesians here is a small sample of subjects I covered: sex, marriage, parents, anger, integrity, unity, spiritual warfare, and many others. The best part is since the first half of Ephesians is essentially explaining the Gospel, I got to talk about the rest of these subjects, in reference to how they relate to the Gospel. Many times I would ask how does anger or sex or unity, fit with the theme of the first three chapters of Ephesians. This made the Gospel practical. With all this being said, here are some things I would like to do better as I teach through books of the Bible.
- Get farther ahead: I realize this is difficult, but if I could have gotten 3-4 weeks ahead, I could have connected some passages together. The easiest way to get ahead, is have 2-3 lessons done before you even start the Bible study. This also helps when you have overwhelming weeks.
- Get better at outlining: As I got farther into teaching the book, I got better at following the structure and theme of the book. This is where a good commentary comes in handy. For Ephesians I used Peter O’Brien’s commentary. As difficult as this was with one of Paul’s letters, I know it will be much harder with a narrative book.
- Develop one concise memorable theme: The theme I used was building a life in Christ, and we made the Gospel the foundation of the building, and added to the building with each subject. There is construction imagery in Ephesians, that I don’t come close to completely understanding but it worked well. I wish that I had fully developed this all the way out before using it.