“People are more likely to remember and act on one substantial item each week.”
How do you develop your lesson plan and discussion questions to reach a specific concept, point of interest, or action item by the end of the discussion?
Many rich concepts
Let’s say you are studying through the book of Ephesians. This week you plan to cover Ephesians 2:1–10. There are many rich concepts in these ten verses. For instance, here are some of them…
- Everyone was once dead and held captive by sin. (Verses 1-3)
- There is evident change upon salvation (Verse 4)
- Jesus is the key to Salvation (Verses 5-7)
- Salvation is not a reward for good deeds, it is a gift (Verses 8-9)
- We are God’s masterpiece (Verse 10)
- We are created so we can do what God planned for us (Verse 10)
Choose one as the landing
During the discussion time this week, you will likely plan to examine all of these unique and important points. But multiple unique points are not likely to be remembered by the group after they drive home. Plan to choose one point as the landing place for your group this week. Yes, it can be hard to choose; but it will be worth it in helping the group learn and grow over time.
Spend extra time discussing and emphasizing this point for the final 5-10 minutes of your group time. Help them fully understand what scripture is saying (in context); and help them think of ways to practically apply what they learn. (Click here for more on understanding Biblical context.)
Refine and Clarify
Develop your landing place into a one-sentence main point. Whether or not you share this sentence with the group is up to you; but writing it out will help you refine and clarify the landing place in your own mind.
Here are two examples that demonstrate a landing place.
EXAMPLE 1: Landing = Verse 4
In this example, the point you plan to emphasize is somewhere in the middle of the passage of scripture. During the discussion, cover it lightly (you can even let the group know you will be coming back to it); then you will circle back to it at the end.
Say something like: Earlier we looked at verse 4. Let’s go back and dig in a little deeper.
- The first two words of verse 4 seems to be a dividing point between two major thoughts. What do you see on either side of that divide?
- How has this dividing point been true in your life?
- How should that specific divide affect how you view and interact with others?
Main Point (The Landing): The change God brings through salvation should be clearly evident in your life.
EXAMPLE 2: Landing = Verse 10
In this example, the main point lands neatly at the end of the passage of scripture you are discussing.
Say something like: Verse 10 seems to be a finale to the previous verses.
- Verses 9 and 10 both talk about doing “good things”, but in different ways. How does the meaning compare and contrast between these two verses?
- What does this mean for you and I as believers?
- How are you searching for and fulfilling the good things God specifically planned for you?
Main Point (The Landing): God designed each one of His children to be fully devoted to accomplishing a uniquely specific purpose.
A specific destination
Your group won’t remember everything from the discussion each week. If they only remember one thing, what should it be? That’s your landing place. Plan to get your group to that specific destination.
-By Eddie Zdanio
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)