I have the privilege of teaching and training in many different setting. My favorite it teaching the Bible. I thought I would take a moment to share a few resources that I enjoy using when I prepare to teach Sunday School/Biblical Community.
On the bookshelf
I was once told, by a lay Bible teacher, that everyone should have a good study Bible, Bible atlas, Bible dictionary and a trusted commentary. Here are my favorite “go to” resources on my bookshelf.
My favorite study Bible, is the Disciple’s Study Bible by Holman
My current favorite commentaries are the NIV Application Commentary by Zondervan, which I am currently collecting.
My current favorite Bible atlas is The Macmillan Bible Atlas by Aharoni and Avi-Yonah, which I have had and used since my seminary days.
I also have a collection of other resources that prove helpful and sometime I will touch on them, but not today.
While I have a collection of physical resources, we live in the digital age with a host of resources online. Here are a few that I use regularly in my preparation process.
Good curriculum is important to me. I am currently teach from Lifeway’s Gospel Project curriculum. Good curriculum is important to me personally for two reasons. First, good curriculum presents a path of exploration and resources to guide my preparation and that of my learners. Second, curriculum keeps me moving along a track of study, which keeps me from going to the Gospel of John or the Letter to the Philippians more than I should. The three major Lifeway Adult curriculum lines are available for digital download at My Curriculum Manager, which we provide to our classes.
I like to prepare my lesson outline/manuscript over a few days time. Reading the Scriptures, praying for and about my class and how the Scriptures could impact my class. A digital workspace like Google Drive has proven very handy. I copy my Lifeway Digital curriculum in to a dated folder for easy access and review. I create my outline/manuscript in the same folder. This also allows for easy copy and paste between the two documents. The use of Google Drive or anyone other online editor/storage solution is also the ability to collaborate or share note with a co-leader or apprentice.
I also make good use of the following digital tools. I do most of my Bible reading in YouVerison.com. There are multiple versions of the Bible (HCSB, ESV, The Message, etc) I have an account which allows me to bookmark and highlight passages as needed.
I also make good use of BibleHub.com, which provides a quick parallel of the passage, context, cross references, basic commentaries, etc. I highly recommend reading the passage you are teaching in parallel translations. This also serves as my Bible dictionary, which I don’t have on my bookshelf. I also like that this website provides me access to the Pulpit Commentary as well.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it is my standard tool set for preparing to teach. If you are looking for a more exhaustive list of online resources, I suggest that you visit a list that is kept by Keith Lowery. Keith’s list can by found at Texas Baptist - The Study.