Help! Last Minute Gospel Lesson Prep

Preparing a lesson at the last minute?  Bless your heart for even taking it on!

Do away with the guilt about not picking up the manual a week ago when you “should have” and give a wonderful lesson instead. Some of the best classes I’ve ever been to are impromptu and spontaneous.

Here’s how I get ready for a lesson when I’ve run out of time:

  1. Read the questions at the end of the lesson material first.  The questions will quickly orient you to the primary object of the lesson.
  2. Select 3 or 4 questions which most resonate with you or pique your interest.
  3. For each question, find the material in the lesson which answers that question.  Often the questions will tell you which section or right where to find the answers!
  4. Prepare the corresponding lesson material to those chosen questions as a series of quotes to be handed out and read by class members (or expounded on by you).  If it is a story, be ready to tell it in your own words if you can.
  5. After you’ve presented the corresponding quotes or story or expounded lesson material, turn the questions you’ve chosen into a discussion session .  For example, at the end of lesson 7 Gordon B. Hinckley, a question which appeals to me is:  “What have you learned from your own experiences about recognizing communications from the Holy Ghost”?  Some discussion-promoting versions of this question would be – 1. Have you ever felt the Holy Ghost?  2.  What happened & how did the experience help you?  3. If you were to describe how the Holy Ghost feels, what words would you use?
  6. Remember, the best classes usually have around 50% of the time devoted to class-members talking and sharing.  So anything you can do to promote lots of discussion is a win-win.
  7. When the current section & question topic feels like it is wrapping up, sometimes it helps to summarize it in your words, reflecting some of the class-members comments and move on to the next topic with questions.  Repeat until the bell rings.
  8. Remember the 4-second rule.  Ask a question, and if no one raises their hand within 4 seconds, repeat the question in different words. And pause.  Never be afraid to pause!  In number 5 above, you can see I asked the same question more or less in 3 different ways.  If I asked the first and got no response, I would wait four seconds and state the second one and then wait.
  9. Be ready to answer any of the questions yourself, in case you need to jump-start a reluctant discussion.  Some of the best discussions happen after a delayed response from the class.  People need time to reflect and absorb what you’re asking of them.
  10. Feel good about the wonderful gospel material we’ve been given to launch a meaningful class session.  You’re leading a discussion more than anything else, so no pressure to sound like a brilliant lecturer or General Conference speaker.

Prayer is majorly helpful here too!  Good luck.

Extra:  9 Tips To Memorable Teaching

Published by

Classic Mormon Mom

Blessed with one husband, six children, two grandchildren and a son-in-law. My husband and I live in awesome, vibrant Salt Lake City, Utah about eight minutes west of Temple Square. And my initials are SLC ~ the same as the city we live in.

Share your comments with us!