The actual presentation of the class can be as unique as you want it to be. We started out in a fairly large classroom that could seat about 60 people comfortably. The chairs were arranged in sort of a modified half moon so that it promoted a "cozy" atmosphere. To make folks feel like they were actually returning to Mayberry, I brought a CD of the Dillards so that they could be greeted by the music of "The Darlings" as they were being seated. We also provided lemonade to enhance the feeling that you were relaxing on Andy’s front porch on a warm summer night. At the beginning of the class, we usually made a few announcements and began the class with a prayer. We didn’t spend too much time introducing the episode since an introduction was provided on the handout, and we didn’t want to give the audience a preconceived opinion of the story. We wanted them to form their own opinions by watching the episode. However, if there is something specific you think the audience should look for in the episode, don’t hesitate to mention it beforehand.

On Wednesday nights at Twickenham, we had a full hour for the class so at the conclusion of the episode we still had about thirty minutes left for the discussion period. As I stated before, we used a handout to identify lesson points and discussion topics, but we really tried to keep an open format. If someone noticed something in the show that was not on the handout, that was fine. But, the handout did provide a good basis for the discussion flow. During the discussion period, Brad and I acted as moderators by emphasizing a point then opening it up for discussion. Usually we would identify the point, read the corresponding Scripture, and open it up to the class for comments. We rarely had trouble starting a good discussion as the audience was more than willing to share their opinions and experiences about the subject at hand.

At the end of each class (we never seemed to finish on time), we tried to close with a final thought. Something the class could remember and take with them. This was usually a quote from the episode which summed up the lesson. For example, the class featuring Mr. McBeevee included the following quote from Andy as the final thought: "I guess it’s a time like this when you’re asked to believe something that just don’t seem possible; that’s the moment that decides whether you’ve got faith in somebody or not." That quote, talking about his relationship with Opie, really summed up the entire lesson.

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What Makes This Show so Special?

Why the Show is Special to Me

Why the Show Makes Sense for a Bible Class

Preparing for the Class

Getting the Word Out


Personal Reflections