There is a desperate need today for the teaching of the truth of the Word of God.
Called to teach
Teaching is one of the most important ministries of the Church and people are specifically selected and called by God, for this important task.
1 Corinthians 12:29
"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers."
God usually selects those for this ministry who have the ability to teach.
2 Timothy 2:2
"And the things that thou hast heard of me, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
The ability to teach the Word of God is one of the gifts that certain Christians receive.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;”
Someone that has this ministry gift always feels comfortable teaching others, and those taught, easily understand the truths that are being taught. A teaching anointing always accompanies those who are called to this ministry and anointed teaching has far reaching effect in the lives of people.
There are different metaphors that describe a successful teacher namely:
Teaching is a journey that leads to people to knowledge and experience. Teachers guide us on this journey. They map out the details of our journey, accompany us and instruct us as we go, helping us to reach our destination.
Teachers speak to us on behalf of God and teach us His way. It is important to remember that teachers are the backbone of Gods teaching program. It is not material or man-made programs.
Teachers need to practice what they teach, and serve as an example to students and they will be held accountable.
"My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."
“And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one that is perfect shall be as his teacher.”
Teachers use different methods but it is important that they are passionate.
They should have a passion for God.
They should have a passion for the things of God.
They should have a passion for those they teach.
They should have a passion for what they teach.
They should have a passion for successful results.
The teaching material
An effective teacher needs effective teaching material to be successful.
The teacher and the material go together like a hand and glove.
In the Kingdom of God this teaching material is available from the following:
- The teachings of Gods’ Word
- The teaching material of other reputable Biblical teachers
- The practical experience of successful Believers
The seven aspects of the Teachers task:
- Preparing the teaching material.
Preparation is half of the task of teaching. A highly effective teacher will not be successful, if the lesson being taught has not been well prepared.
To prepare a lesson, a teacher needs the following:
A quiet place
A pen and notebook
A subject or theme that needs to be taught
Approaching the subject correctly by:
- Finding out its main theme.
- Understanding all the aspects clearly
- Personally applying the lesson before teaching it
- Preparing an outline of the lesson that should have the following parts:
Different aspects of the subject
- Preparing the atmosphere for the lesson by doing the following:
Making sure that the environment is good and that those being taught are comfortable Be sure to relieve all tension Create a warm, loving and caring atmosphere
All students must believe in their Teachers ability The students must have a need and desire to learn
- Gaining the attention of the audience.
People are often caught up in their own world and it is necessary to gain their attention. This can be done by challenging them to experience new Biblical truths. Minds caught up in problems, thoughts, imaginations and dreams, need to be captivated. Capturing a person's attention can be done by
- asking them a question
- making a dramatic statement.
- Keeping their attention.
In order to keep the attention of an audience or class, the lesson must be interesting, challenging and thought provoking. A teacher should always maintain eye contact with each student, stimulating and encouraging their participation. Body language is important. If someone is yawning, folding their arms, looking around or checking the time, it will indicate that they are bored or uninterested. The teacher should try to regain their interest and attention.
- Clear communication
A teacher must teach with clarity and simplicity. Unclear teaching will cause listeners to use a lot of energy trying to receive, decode and understand what is being taught. This will give the student much less time to actually reflect on the teaching.
- Human elements in teaching
One cannot dehumanize education. It is a people orientated activity. Teachers and students have their good and bad moments. Teachers must be able to discern such moments and know when students are not receiving what is being taught. There are moments when a teacher needs to reach out to the needs of a student outside the classroom. Teachers must be careful not to overload students with too much information in a teaching session. There are other practical human elements that teachers and students encounter, such as speech impediments, bad hearing, a noisy room, noisy traffic or bad weather. These problems also have to be addressed.
- Effecting positive results
Once a teacher has accomplished the task of teaching a lesson, the results must be positive.
The following results can be assessed as positive:
When students accept and apply the truths being taught When the lesson brings about a visible change in the students behavior When a student expresses appreciation for what is being taught When a student experiences conviction and a need for change
Five aspects of teaching the Bible
Five different methods of teaching
- Teaching a passage of the Bible.
When teaching, a teacher needs to realize what the major thought is, that governs a particular passage of the Bible. This major thought is the subject. We achieve this by asking the question - "What is this scripture saying?"
The answer to this question is the "subject".
It is then important for teachers to relive the text in their own imagination. They need to go back in time, understanding what it meant then and what it means now. They need to identify with the characters, objects, situations and actions. They need to see a clear picture of what they are teaching, because they can only get others to see things that they see.
It is important for us to bridge the gap between the then and the now, by seeing how that the scripture applies to us.
On the other hand a passage of scripture may have a structural framework of several thoughts that are linked together and have to be dealt with, in succession, one after the other. As they are dealt with the full truth unfolds.
- The stories of the Bible.
When telling a Biblical story, a teacher must firstly clearly identify the main character of the story, as well as all other characters. Then the teacher must identify the true human experiences that the story presents. The meaning of the story must be brought into clear focus. The teacher must make the story come alive by captivating the mind, imagination and senses of the listeners. Every successful story has an exciting central plot or activity. The story unfolds in a sequence of suspense building episodes and scenes. They are like building blocks in the construction of a building. They link with each other. They all lead up to a dramatic breathtaking final episode, leaving the listener to want to hear more.
- Understanding the Bible in dispensational context.
The sixty-six books of the Bible cover a period in human history of six thousand years. Over this period, God deals with man in different ways. This period is divided into seven dispensations and every scripture falls into one of these.
The seven dispensations are:
- Human governments
- Patriarchal Fathers
- The Millennium
The scripture must be seen in light of the dispensation it applies to. Any teaching of scripture applied outside of context will be erroneous and misleading.
- The two languages of the Bible.
The two original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek. It is often necessary for a teacher to refer to the interpretation of the original words in the Bible.
This will bring deeper meaning to what is being taught.
For this purpose a Greek and Hebrew Bible lexicon and Dictionary are most valuable.
- The blessings that the teachings of the Bible reveal.
These blessings include:
- Valuable laws.
The moral laws (Ten Commandments), the Civil laws and the Health laws of the Bible, have become a basis for all the nations of the world to live by.
The teachings of the Bible cover every subject that man needs to know about.
- Interesting Topics.
Subjects of interest on many issues of life are covered in the Bible.
- Interesting Personalities.
The Bible contains some of the most exciting and interesting stories of people.
- A higher cultural dimension.
Different nations have different kinds of culture. The Bible sets the standard for the highest form of culture that can be experienced by man. It includes feasts, celebrations, laws, systems, methods, positions, living, achievements and rewards.
Understanding the principles of learning
- Teacher to the class.
This is a normal setting where students listen to a teacher using different teaching aids. These may include textbooks, notes, a chalkboard, projections, computers and electronics.
With this method, the teacher and the students participate in structured or open discussions concerning a subject. This could also take on the form of a debate.
Here students are given the task of getting and compiling specific information about a certain subject within a certain time frame.
Researching a specific subject can be done individually or within a group setting with or without the help of the teacher. Research normally involves a detailed search for information using all sources and technologies available such as libraries and computers.
- On the job training.
This type of training usually puts into practice what has been learnt in the classroom. It is practical training, person to person and in the real world.
There is a law that governs the way that people perceive and learn things.
It is called the "Law of apperception" and is made up of:
This is the acquiring of information that comes to us through our five senses - the eyes, ears, nose, mouth or feeling.
The information received through the five senses is assimilated into the part of the mind where reasoning takes place.
After the reasoning process is complete, the information received becomes knowledge that is appropriated and stored in the memory.
This knowledge is then applied at any time, to any given situation of life.
Understanding the principles of study
The basis of all Bible study is the principle of discovery, and there are different methods used to discover the truth of the Bible. Whatever method used must be systematic, methodical, thorough and complete.
The three methods of effective Bible Study are:
Memorizing Bible Studies
- The topical Bible study.
Once a topic has been selected, a student can locate, read and interpret all scriptures relating to the subject. A student can also use the "Roman road system" to study Bible topics. This can be recorded for future reference, by writing down the topic at the back of the Bible. (i.e. Baptism)
Next to the word baptism, write the first scripture relating to baptism - Matthew 28:19.
Then next to Matthew 28:19 write the next scripture and so on.
- The study of interpreting Biblical text.
This can be done by carefully researching the meaning of each word of a scripture in its original language.
- The study of Bible personalities.
It is necessary to study people in the context of when, where and how they lived. Bible geography, history and archeology, play an important role in discovering these facts. Bible Dictionaries are helpful with this information.
There are three methods of memorizing Bible Studies:
This is done linking pictures in the mind to the material being memorized.
- Reading the material repetitiously.
- Summarizing the material.
- Memorizing the material and this can be done:
- By listening to it – from a recorded source.
- By speaking it.
- By using association.
There are four groups of people we teach, namely:
- Senior citizens.
When teaching senior citizens, a teacher faces unique challenges.
Senior citizens experience several limitations:
- Some seniors have hearing problems.
- Some are restricted in movement.
- Some seniors have learning disabilities.
- The times of classes are not always suitable for seniors.
Most adults have domestically related circumstances that affect their lives and have to be accommodated. Often their study habits have become a little stagnated over the years and need to be revitalized. A teacher should have patience and make allowances for this.
Teenagers experience very hard to understand phases from generation to generation. To most parents and adults of each generation, these teenage peculiarities are strange and hard to accept.
When teaching teenagers, we need to communicate with them in their own unique way.
Only those who do this will be successful.
To do this we need to enter the teenage world and understand it.
We need to use techniques and methods that are applicable and suit the occasion.
To teach children we need to understand the following:
- Their attention span is very short.
- They have very vivid imaginations.
- To have an impact on them, we need to touch their mind and emotion.
- They relate to their hero's.