Planning the lesson is basically getting it in shape for teaching it. Mere study without this planning is like gathering materials for the construction of a house. It is only lumber, brick, and stone. Teachers fail at this point, deeming their study of the lesson in itself ample preparation for the teaching of it.
To plan a lesson for teaching should involve three steps in order, as follows:
1. Thinking it over without book or help.
2. Sifting the lesson to get at its essentials.
3. Adapting it to the needs, intellectually and spiritually, of one's students.
Thinking it Over
1. Begin by Thinking Over the Lesson
Put everything aside but the open Bible. Take the lesson and read it over and over, and think your way through it, verse by verse. Think and pray together for light. Turn the verses about, put them into the language of your class, strip the lesson of its idioms and peculiarities, and try to make it conform to your everyday life. Bring it down to date as far as you can, and make it a living spiritual message for the present needs of yourself and your students.
2. Analyze the Thought of the Lesson
Get at the lesson's points of truth. Discover this truty, if you can, for and of yourself. You may be tempted to turn away from the Bible in order to find it, but remember our Lord said it is sometimes "hidden fro the wise and revealed unto babes." Stick to your own thinking, write down your own thoughts, one by one, as they rise before you. If you compel yourself to think, be sure the thoughts will come.
3. Make the Points Plain
Think how you can make plain the points of the lesson, how you can link the spiritual things in it with the experiences of everyday living; what objects, incidents, stories, pictures you will use in illustration; what motives, desires, ambitions, on the part of your class, you will weave in with the truth, so as to make the truth attractive and telling. Remember that Jesus taught by parables. (1)