|Preparing for the Class
Enough with the background, lets get to the important stuff. How do you go about preparing for such a class? In our case, the way the class came about is sort of an interesting story that I will try to cover quickly. I had envisioned such a class for a few years, but I had never really had the opportunity to act on the idea. My wife and I began attending Twickenham Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama, in the fall of 1996, and I soon became acquainted with some huge Andy Griffith fans. Brad Grasham, Lee Segrest, and others at the church had actually used the show as material for a teenage class in the past. I had also used clips of the show as part of a marriage enrichment class on Sunday mornings. However, no one had ever developed a full one-hour class aimed toward the adult membership. One Sunday night, our education director, James Kendrick, overheard Brad and myself exchanging some Mayberry trivia and he asked us if we would consider doing a Wednesday night adult class based on the show. Well, the rest is history...
The first order of business is to select the episodes. There are 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show so you might think this was the easy part. Actually, it was a little harder than you might think. While all the shows are good, they all dont lend themselves to a three point format (for example, a drunken Otis riding a cow may not be the point you're trying to get across). However, if you are familiar with the show, you probably already have a pretty good idea of which episodes would be applicable to use as part of the class.
Once the episodes are selected, you might want to consider coming up with an outline to hand out to the attendees each week. The format we selected included a short introduction to the episode, the listing of three or four basic points to be gathered from the episode, and a few discussion questions to generate some conversation. Another thing that sort of evolved was a final thought, usually a quote from the episode that summed up the class each week. I usually roughed out the first cut of the outline while watching the episode itself. Once the main points were defined, finding Scriptural references to support the points came fairly easily. I believe the trick is to keep the main points fairly general, then be more specific with the sub-points and discussion items. A complete list and summary of the episodes we used along with the corresponding outlines can be found in the appendix.
Preparing for the Class