I’ve been a Bible study teacher at my church for a number of years now and taught adults, young adults, college students, high school, middle school, and kids. Through my varied teaching experiences, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions:
1) I have no idea what I’m doing! Perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but that is certainly the way I feel many times as I drive to a group meeting, lead a Bible study, and drive away. You too? Do you share my thoughts—Who am I to be sharing the truth of God’s Word with a group of people? Why have I been given this responsibility to teach, train, and lead? I’m not cut out for this; I’m inadequate for this!
But that’s when it hits me—Remember you are not alone. This brings me to my second conclusion.
2) I need God’s help, and He gives it! “I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord!” In our own strength and wisdom, we can say some nice things and lay out some clear truths for people to follow, but we will never accomplish what God has called us to do this way. Why? Because what He has called us to do in teaching is way beyond us!
You see, we’re rather powerless. We can’t change hearts. We can’t cause a heart of faith to grow. Thankfully, these things are the Lord’s work, but He can and will use inadequate teachers to accomplish these things through us. We are not called to accomplishments; we are called to be faithful.
So what does faithful teaching look like?
• First, it looks a lot like love. In order to teach and lead a group, you must love that group. You don’t overflow with grace and truth with people for whom you don’t care. So hear the words of Jesus—“Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34).
• Second, teach “from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything” (1 Peter 4:11). Pray for God’s help; ask Him for wisdom for the task—He promises to give it (James 1:5).
• Third, prepare to teach, and don’t just wing it. The Holy Spirit has a vital role in the teaching process, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t study. Rather, we need to be diligent, unashamed workers, “correctly teaching the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
• Fourth, train to improve as a teacher. There is always room for improvement. So read a book on teaching; take a course; ask for help from one more experienced—don’t just be a leader but also be a learner! For Explore the Bible, you can find free training videos and resources located on MinistryGrid.
May God find us faithful, and may He receive all the glory.