Indications Teachers are Filled with the Right Qualities

Look for Bible Teachers with the Right Qualities

In the previous post we stressed the importance of looking for teachers filled with the right qualities. We used 1 Corinthians 15:58 to suggest what some of those qualities might be —

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

But, how will we know if people have these qualities?

What It Takes for Teachers to be Filled with the Right Qualities:

If prospective teachers exhibit the following, we can know they are headed in the right direction. They may not have as deep of conviction or be as fully confident in the Lord as we might desire, but they have the right foundation on which to build and further develop these qualities.

1) An understanding of the Gospel

The word “Therefore” with which 1 Corinthians 15:58 begins suggests the qualities in the verse will grow out of what preceded this verse. The context takes us back to the Gospel wherein we see Jesus not only dying but also being raised from the dead, making Him victorious over sin and death. Because of this Gospel, we too have hope for victory in this life as well as eternal purpose.

2) A relationship with God made possible because of the Gospel

Paul addressed the readers as “brothers and sisters” or brethren, fellow members of God’s family. If you aren’t in a Gospel-believing church, don’t expect your teachers to be filled with the right qualities. If you are sure your teachers or prospective teachers have put their trust in Jesus alone and what He did on the cross for them, yet still don’t exhibit these traits, perhaps you need to take them back to their roots in the Gospel (2 Pet. 1:8-9), reminding them of what Jesus has done and the difference that makes in their teaching.

3) A realization that what they are doing is for and about God

We are to give ourselves fully to the work “of the Lord.” Ministry in the Church, such as teaching, must be seen as a work for and about God, not of ourselves or the Church. Even in recruiting, make sure people’s allegiance is in the right place. We need commitment that stems from an accountability first and foremost to the Lord for it to provide sufficient holding power to keep people committed.

4) A reliance on the Lord’s wisdom and power

Notice that “labor IN THE LORD” is not in vain.” When we teach God’s Word relying on His power and not our own strength and understanding, we can count on something happening (Isa. 55:11). Therein comes the needed confidence and hope of impacting people’s lives.

When people serve in your church in any capacity, whether that be teaching or any other kind of ministry, they need this foundation. If they don’t, you aren’t going to find the right qualities within them to have the right motivations or to produce the right outcomes.

Looking for Teachers Filled with the Right Qualities?

What would you rather have — teachers filled with doubts about the Bible, insecurities, half-heartedness, and discouragement or teachers filled with conviction about God’s Word, confidence, commitment, and contemplation of what God will do through their teaching?

Look for Bible Teachers with the Right QualitiesIf you are looking for teachers filled with the latter, then you need teachers who live out 1 Corinthians 15:58. These are teachers who …

“stand firm” – That’s conviction as opposed to doubts about God and His ways.

“Let nothing move you.” – That’s confidence as opposed to insecurities.

“Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord” – That’s commitment as opposed to a half-hearted approach to serving.

“know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” – That’s contemplation of what God will do as opposed to discouragement or despair.

Keep these Qualities in Mind when Recruiting Bible Teachers

Do look for prospective Bible teachers who have these qualities or who at least have a foundation to build upon. In the next post we’ll look at what the indications might be that people at least have the potential for deepening these qualities within them.

Don’t be shy about asking prospective teachers about their view about God and His Word. It does indeed make a difference.

Do offer pre-service training to not only equip them to teach but also to get rooted in God’s Word and how God wants to use their teaching. Then continue to encourage and support them in these ways.

Approach to Teaching the Whole Counsel of God

Teach the Whole Counsel of God as All Scripture Inspired
(Click to enlarge image in Pinterest & repin.)

We previously noted in Acts 20:27 that the Apostle Paul did not shrink back from teaching the whole counsel of God because he knew that “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Just because Paul “did not shrink from declaring” the whole counsel of God doesn’t mean he wasn’t sensitive. He was the one who said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor. 9:22) Also, note his instructions in the following passages:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. (Gal. 6:1)

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:23-26)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2)

Paul stayed true to the whole counsel of God, not shrinking from it, while respectfully meeting people where they were. He adapted his style or methodology –his aproach, not the message.

As Bible teachers we too must teach the whole counsel of God with such adaptability, gentleness, kindness, patience, and care. The amount and depth to which we take students may vary based on their physical age level development or spiritual condition but that doesn’t mean we avoid the real issues of the Bible with them.

If we truly care about our students, we want them “thoroughly equipped for every good work” which happens when we teach like “ALL Scripture is inspired by God and useful …” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Teaching the Whole Counsel of God?

The idea of teaching the whole counsel of God comes from the Apostle Paul’s words to the elders of the Church of Ephesus  — for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27, RSV).

Depending on the translation you use, you might find counsel, will, or purpose of God. Where do we find God’s will, His purpose? — in His written Word. So, when we refer to the “whole” counsel of God, we mean the totality of the written Word — all of it — not just the feel good or easy to understand parts.

Attitude Toward Teaching the Whole Counsel of God

Teach the Whole Counsel of God as All Scripture Inspired
(Click to enlarge image in Pinterest & repin.)

Notice in Acts 20:27 that the Apostle Paul said he did not shrink back or hesitate to teach them the whole counsel of God. While he didn’t purposefully set out to offend people, he was aware some would find the Truth offensive. He was not embarrassed by or ashamed of any part. He was not timid about saying what needed to be said.

The opposite of shrinking back is to move forward with confidence or boldness in proclaiming God’s Truth. Such confidence can be ours when we realize it is God’s Word we teach, not our own ideas.

Aim of Teaching The Whole Counsel of God

Undoubtedly Paul’s attitude grew out of His belief that “all” Scripture is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16-17). He didn’t just want people to know the Bible but to use it in their lives in positive, impacting ways. He wanted them to be prepared to face questions and opposition. He wanted them to have all they needed to stand victoriously.

The aim of presenting the totality of Scripture is so people can be “thoroughly” equipped, equipped, for “every” good work in all areas of their lives, not just some good in some parts of their lives. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness …” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Accountability Factor in Teaching the Whole Counsel of God

In speaking to the leaders of the church of Ephesus, Paul knew that he would probably never see them again. The Spirit had warned him of pending imprisonment. In looking back at his ministry, he said, “I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.” If the people went astray, it wouldn’t be because of him. The reason for such confidence: “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:27) He gave them the Truth they needed to know.

When we have that same sense of accountability before God, we know that we must present His Word accurately (2 Tim. 2:15) but also not pick and choose what we’re comfortable with or what we think people want to hear. To meet the above mentioned aim, we must present both the easy and hard to understand parts, the feel good and not so feel good parts, the potentially offensive as well as the ear tickling parts.

In the next post we will consider the approach we should take in teaching the whole counsel of God.

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