The Gospel According to Luke, Introduction

Jesus healingWe’ve been studying the Gospel of Luke the last quarter at church, and we’re about to continue for another quarter. Most of the teachers haven’t gotten past chapter 7, and we’ll surely not get done this second quarter either. However, we’ve decided to study the Gospel verse by verse and “suck the marrow” out of the Gospel–trying to dig deeply into the message God has given us.

The temptation is for the teacher to extract his favorite stories and teach them to suit his taste–as so often happens. But this time we want to let Luke and Jesus do the talking. The teachers are to help explain the passages, but interpret them in context, as part of the total narrative and in light of the overriding themes of the book.

We’re trying the approach where all the adult classes study the same material and the teachers meet on Wednesday night with a more experienced teacher (me) and do lesson preparation. It’s been a good experience, and I’ve enjoyed spending time with the other teachers.

Let me explain a  few lessons learned from the experience (and the rest of the posts will be outlines of Luke suitable for teaching at a marrow-sucking pace).

* The teachers greatly enjoy the outlines. They do their own preparation as well, using a commentary we bought for them (Tom Wright’s Luke for Everyone), materials found on the internet, and other resources.

* The teachers have been good to pass along articles and other materials via email to one another–so the burden is not entirely on me to come up with teaching ideas.

* We have a veteran group of teachers this quarter, and they go at their own pace. I can’t predict how much a teacher will get covered in a given class period, and so after 13 weeks, some teachers are chapters ahead of other teachers. I’m not willing for a teacher to skip materials to catch up, and so I just have to stay ahead of the fastest teacher and not worry about it.

* After a month or 6 weeks of meetings, the meetings lose much of their value to the teachers. I spend the first few weeks covering what we want to get out of the material–the morals of the lessons, if you will. We talk about the big themes of the book to make sure we don’t get lost in the details.

* We spend some time on methods, but not a lot, because these guys have been around the block many times.

* I tried not teaching on Sundays and instead visiting the classes to help coach the teachers. It didn’t work. I was lousy at lesson preparation when I wasn’t in the classroom. Moreover, I get some my best ideas from my students or just from the experience of looking my students in the eyes and seeing what they respond to. Therefore, I find myself revising my outlines heavily after I’ve taught the materials. Someone else will have to do the coaching.

* Being the coach isn’t that hard. I just have to get ready earlier, but I like to stay a couple of weeks ahead in my preparation anyway. If I’m not 2 or so weeks ahead of the class, I worry the class won’t talk one week and I’ll run out of stuff to say! More importantly, I’m better teacher if I know where we’re going.

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About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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