Some years ago, when I was first asked to teach an adult Bible class at church, the book I started with was 1 Samuel. My reason was simple: I felt that I could communicate this exciting book in a way that would engage everyone and thereby give me a little bit of “job security.” The class went well, and we continued on to studies in Isaiah and Daniel, but as I look back I marvel at the fact that I taught the class without ever showing photos.
One factor was that our meeting room didn’t yet have a projector, but even if it had, it would have been quite difficult for me, in that stage of life (working on a doctorate), to have had the time to pull together all the photos, week after week. Unlike some Bible teachers, I actually had the photos, but the time involved to find the right photos and create an attractive presentation is not insignficant. I was spending what time I had studying the text and reading the commentaries.
Fast forward about a decade and I had the chance to teach through 1 Samuel again. This time, I had a team of friends working with me to create an extensive collection of images for every passage and story in the book. With that work already done, I could quickly grab, in a matter of 10 minutes or less, the 20-30 photos I wanted to share to help the group understand the setting and details of each chapter. I loved it, and they loved it.