Motives can be God-honoring or self-serving. The teaching role can be about allowing God to use me to benefit others, or it can be an opportunity to promote myself. Motives can lead me to a ministry that builds up, or they can lead me to become a demolition expert.
As you prepare to teach adults stop and examine your heart. What is it exactly you want your students to learn? How to walk the Christian walk? How to study and understand the Bible? How to apply Scripture to life?
…the gift of teaching…is an ability given by God the Holy Spirit, powered by God the Holy Spirit and used by God the Holy Spirit as He works through those of us who stand at the podium week after week to open the Word of God to our classes.
Teaching is not about you or me. It is about God taking His Word and working through us to accomplish His own purposes. The gift of teaching is the ability to break God’s Word into meaningful portions that can then be digested by the hearers.
God provides the people needed to sustain the ministry He desires for the local church.
…teaching is first and foremost a spiritual endeavor.
Teachers must understand our opponent’s (Satan’s) strategy so we can warn our students. We need to push them to give their all for Jesus, their maximum effort. We want to win, and for a teacher winning comes as our students mature and walk with Christ.
Prayer has no shortcuts or time-saving workarounds. I bow before the Father, and I call out to Him on behalf of my students one by one.
My students need to see in me a real life example of a mature believer walking with Christ. They need the security and confidence of knowing I will lead them rightly as I follow God.
To be a good Bible teacher I must first be a good Bible student.
Preparing for class is and must be a Bible study event. As a teacher I need to be in God’s Word first-hand, digging and investigating on my own.
Develop the habit of asking questions as you read. Questions offer tremendous assistance in gaining an understanding of the passage. Here are some sample questions I use:
- Who wrote the book, and what can I learn about the author?
- Who is speaking?
- Who are the main characters in this passage?
- What is the period of history?
- Are there customs I don’t understand?
- Does God speak in the passage, and if so what did He say?
- Does God act in the passage, and if so what did He do?
- Does the passage reveal anything of God’s character?
- What verbs stand out to me?
- Are there any commands in these verses I need to heed?
The best source for Bible education is the Pastor’s sermons. Attend regularly. Take notes. Be an example to those sitting around you. Review those notes during the week.
Start and Stop on time.
As a teacher your public support for the leaders of your church is paramount. If you do not agree with the leadership on some topic, the Bible class is not the appropriate forum for airing those differences.
I teach my students from the spiritual water flowing in my own personal relationship with Christ. If that relationship is vibrant and growing, my students will drink fresh sweet water.
Please pay close attention. A small group can function in complete disassociation from the Spirit of God and with no consideration for the use of the gifts He has provided for the benefit of the church body. The group can operate as a social gathering with little focus on spiritual things…Surely God expects more!
As we analyze our beliefs, as we discuss and defend our convictions, as we share our experiences and concerns with close friends our faith grows stronger. Where better to carry on that dialogue than in the safety of a group of believers taking the same journey?
Speaking truth is vital. Speaking truth with love is crucial.
True Christianity is a serving way of life.
People inside and outside the church ought to be able to tell by our actions, posture, facial expressions, and dealings with one another that we’ve been changed by Jesus.
- Words – Words are foundational to kindness. Exercise care with the tone of voice and caution in choosing those words.
- Thoughts – Consider others and how best to be of benefit to them.
- Actions – Thoughtful words may reflect kindness, but deeds demonstrate it.
Genuine kindness does not keep score or display concern for credit or applause. Kindness is its own reward.
Be a faithful example in attending the worship service. Pray and ask God to challenge your heart each week. The passion for leading the small group ignites when we feel the urgency of the message in our own lives. Take copious notes.