For teachers and Preachers of all Age Levels
1. You are investing in the two things that last forever: the Word of God, and people.
Word of God Peter told his readers, “You’ve been born again not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23). Then in verses 24-25, he quoted from Isaiah 40:6-8 to put the spotlight on the Bible’s permanence: “All flesh is like grass…the grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord abides forever.”
The Souls of People Every human being has an eternal destiny: heaven, or hell. In John 5:28-29, Jesus emphasized this point: “An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 adds, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment.”
Think of it. You teach people, and your curriculum is the Bible. What other ministry besides teaching so directly allows a person to invest in what lasts forever?
2. The Word you teach is powerful.
*”Is not My Word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock” (Jer. 23:29).
*”The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Occasionally you’ll feel inadequate or unworthy to teach. Remember that your confidence is in the Bible you communicate, not in anything inherent in you.
3. You aren’t responsible for learners’ response to your teaching.
Search for engaging illustrations.
Stay out of ruts by utilizing a variety of classroom methods.
Identify and clearly communicate timeless truths.
Reserve time to discuss applications.
Yes, how you teach influences whether people learn.
But I cannot endorse a well-known maxim originating from a well-known Christian educator of a previous generation: A teacher hasn’t taught until the pupil has learned. That remark puts all the responsibility for learning on the teacher, and none on the learner.
Knowing this, we pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of learners. Ultimately, only God is responsible for fruitfulness. Paul planted seeds of the gospel in Corinth, and Apollos watered those seeds. But God caused the growth. (See 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.)
4. In this life, you won’t always see the positive effects of your teaching.
Charles Spurgeon told the story of a burdened pastor who couldn’t finish his benediction. He stopped and insisted that someone in the congregation needed to receive Christ. A 15-year-old boy heard the gospel that day, but didn’t respond to the pastor’s plea.
Eighty-five years later, on his 100th birthday, that same person reflected on his life. God’s Spirit brought to his mind the message and plea he had heard as a 15-year-old lad. Under conviction, he prayed and received Christ as his Savior. The man lived three more years with a vibrant testimony. Obviously, the pastor died without seeing the sprout from the seed he had planted that day.
Which insight encourages you most as a teacher? Why?
Think of a teacher who needs encouragement, with whom you can share this post or verbally summarize its content.
What other truths sustain you and instill resiliency for your teaching ministry?