Reflection is a lost art in our busy world. Various types of spiritual reflection – for example on scripture – are probably even more rare. There are reasons, however, why God’s people in the ancient world dedicated a lot of time to reflection.
Done well, reflection slows us down. It forces one to be honest with oneself. Reflection on scripture, in particular, reminds us of what is important to God and should be important to us. Reflection can also encourage us to make needed changes in our lives.
As a Bible class teacher of children or teens, there are three types of reflection, that if done regularly, can enhance your Bible classes.
- Reflection on scripture. Hopefully, you study the Bible to teach your lesson. Reflection is a bit different. It involves taking one or two verses and really thinking deeply about what they mean and how they apply to the world today. I would argue that at least part of your reflection efforts should focus on scriptures that help you grow as a Christian personally. You may also want to reflect on verses that reflect how Jesus taught others. Finally, reflect on verses that will help your Bible students mature spiritually. How can you teach these verses so they are understood, remembered and lived by your students?
- Reflection on student spiritual needs. It is highly unlikely that all of your students are in the same place spiritually or that they need the same things to take the next step in their faith journey. Taking time to reflect on each individual student can help you assess where the person is spiritually at the moment and what he or she needs to continue growing and maturing. What can you do to help each student get what he or she needs to grow?
- Reflection post lesson. What went well during your lesson? Did the lesson seem to engage all of your students? Did the activity add educational value to the lesson? Did students learn what you hoped they would from the lesson? Will they remember and use it? What didn’t go so well during class? If you were to teach this lesson again, what would you do differently? What do you need to change, add or delete to your next class? This type of reflection is most helpful if done immediately after class while everything is still fresh. The best master teachers still do this type of reflection after every lesson – even if they have taught it a thousand times before. They understand there are hundreds of dynamics impacting the effectiveness of a lesson and how those factors aligned today may be different than in the past, but may occur again in the future.
Making time for regular reflection can enhance the effectiveness of your Bible class in ways you may never have imagined. It’s a great habit to make a part of each day.