Read more than one Bible translation.

If you are a King James (KJV) reader, read the New International Version (NIV), or the Amplified Bible. Reading different translations may provide you with a greater understanding. Note the differences in the words and what stands out for you as you read.

Listen to sermons.

Listen to and, if possible, read your pastor’s sermons that are connected to the Scripture lesson. What insights and images are revealed to you that will assist with your lesson preparation?

Small groups.

Small group discussions provide a chance for greater class participation and an opportunity to cover one topic in multiple ways or a variety of topics from one theme. You can select members for each group randomly by counting off. All people who are number ones in a group, all number twos in another group, etc. Be sure to bring all groups together at the end to discuss their findings, so everyone can benefit from each small group’s approach.

Hymns and songs.

Are you a gifted songbird or silent singer? Whatever your singing ability, it doesn’t matter. Select hymns or songs that introduce the theme or emphasize a point in the lesson. Include a variety of familiar songs or hymns and new ones. Pass out lyric sheets or project the lyrics so everyone can see them and sing together.

Greet each member of the class.

As members of the class walk in, greet each person by name. Learning the participants' names and something special about each one creates a connection. Allow 15 seconds for members to greet each other. Saying “hello” with a smile and a gentle touch helps to connect class members and may lift someone’s spirit.

Listen to or read prayers.

Make time to listen to or read prayers that speak to the theme of the lesson for your own personal devotion and needs. Don’t rush your prayer time. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew your spirit.

Meditations on the theme.

Designate a time to meditate on the theme or themes in the lesson. Following the meditation, create a journal or notebook online or on paper about what thoughts, feelings, or actions you experienced during your time of meditation. Focus on what God wants you to learn or rediscover.