Reasons Bible Teachers Lack Enthusiasm

Spiritual Fervor or Lacking in ZealIn recruiting Bible teachers, we should set our objective at finding and maintaining teachers on the higher end of the spiritual fervor scale. But, perhaps you are looking at your teaching staff and find too many lacking zeal or not much enthusiasm. If so, you have a problem that needs to be addressed or it will impact the effectiveness of your teaching ministry.

Discern Why Bible Teachers Lack Enthusiasm and You Can Then Determine What to Do About It

Reasons teachers lack zeal could be varied so we will group together what might be at the root.

1) Related to leadership

Before casting all the blame on teachers for not being enthusiastic, stop to examine your own level of spiritual fervor. Enthusiasm tends to be contagious. If you are so consumed with stress and discouragement, you will do little to foster an environment conducive to excitement in serving. Teachers may receive minimal encouragement from you. You could even be dampening the enthusiasm of others by your own attitude.

To Do: Pray something like, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23-24)

2) Related to how they were recruited

The way someone is recruited to teach says a lot about the perceived value or importance of the task, affecting the way they approach the ministry. When nabbed in the parking lot, when listening to a desperate plea from the pulpit, and the like, people could sense that the ministry isn’t all that wonderful. When anybody will do because the position needs to be filled in order to have the class, it does little to spark the flame of excitement within.

To Do: Prayerfully approach recruitment as an opportunity to identify God’s possibilities for your ministry, something to be embraced not dreaded. If you want enthused teachers, begin the process with some enthusiasm to give the impression that this is an exciting way to serve the Lord.

Also Read: Recruiting Volunteers for Christian Ministries

3) Related to gifting

Perhaps spiritual gifting and passion takes some of your teachers in a different direction, so teaching just isn’t a good fit. Maybe some of your teachers are appropriately gifted but the gift within them might need to be fanned into flame (2 Tim. 1:6) through more training and encouragement.

To Do: Include identification of people with spiritual gifts most appropriate for teaching a part of the recruitment process so you get the right people from the start. Develop a plan for coming alongside of teachers with training and encouragement tailored to their needs.

Also Read: Speaking Types of Spiritual Gifts

4) Related to challenges in teaching

Discouraged, frustrated, or disillusioned teachers don’t tend to be enthused teachers. Perhaps the stress or busyness of their lives is taking a toll of being able to adequately prepare which in turn affects the lesson’s effectiveness. Maybe they have some exceptionally unruly students and so they’re struggling with classroom discipline. The list of issues could go on and on. But even worse than the challenges teacher face is feeling like they are alone in it. Helplessness leads to hopelessness.

To Do: Address specific issues or problems teachers are facing. Provide the help they need to rise above it.

Some of the challenges come due a lack of resources or training. Identify the need and work at assisting in practical and beneficial ways.

Others issues may be due to an inadequate understanding or perception. Maybe you’ll need to help teachers gain a better appreciation for the Text they teach, the Bible. If they remember that they’re handling the life-changing words of the Almighty God, they’ll view it as more of a privilege than a drain on their time and energy. Perhaps you’ll need to help some teachers see the bigger picture in classroom discipline so they can get beyond mere crowd control to seeing the potential for growth discipline brings.

Whatever the challenge might be, help teachers before they become so discouraged they completely lose the joy of teaching.

How Enthused are Your Bible Teachers?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the level of enthusiasm in your teachers? Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” So, we will make 0 no zeal and 10 high fervor.

Spiritual Fervor or Lacking in Zeal

Enthused Bible Teachers Have Spiritual Fervor

Since those who serve the Lord are never to be lacking in zeal, we set our objective on finding and maintaining teachers on the spiritual fervor side of the scale. The concept behind the word “fervor” is of water boiling from heat. That is passion or enthusiasm bubbling out of us.

Perhaps the question we should ask is — What provides the heat within a person to cause such a reaction? Answer that question and you will know the type of teachers to recruit.

Spiritual Fervor Depends on What Fuels Their Service

1) Gifted, not merely filling a need

People who serve using their God-given spiritual gifts tend to be more enthused because they are aware that God’s power is working through them to teach.

2) Willing, not coerced

People who have a desire to be there tend to be more enthused because they are prompted by God’s Spirit who builds passion within them.

3) Motivated by love and what they can give, not out of what they get from it

Those who are more concerned with what they get out of teaching will tend to become more easily discouraged. What happens when they don’t sense appreciation? What if something goes wrong? What about times teaching is inconvenient, taking time they could spend elsewhere?

Recruit Bible teachers fueled by the above and you will have enthused teachers whose fervor spills over into the lives of those they teach.

4 Tips for Helping Students Apply Bible Lessons to Life

Applying Bible Lessons - Know & Do
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

1) Make sure students understand the meaning and implications of what they are learning.

Head knowledge alone is not sufficient to help students apply the Bible lesson. When they truly understand the meaning and significance of truths, they will be more prone to put it into practice.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way … (Col. 1:9-10)

2) Pray for students to both understand and apply the lesson.

The Spirit of God is the One who enables us to understand spiritual truths (1 Cor. 2:11-16). The application of the lesson must go beyond how we structure the lesson to God at work in our students’ hearts and minds. Consequently, we need to pray for students.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives … (Col. 1:9)

3) Model the truth for them.

Seeing an example of truth applied to life increases the likelihood of students applying the lesson to their lives. Teachers would do well to share illustrations of how they put it into practice if it is something they cannot model in the classroom.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1)

4) Give students opportunity to put it into practice.

Experiencing how to apply truth, even if in a contrived setting, all the more adds to the potential of doing something with it in everyday living.

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore … (Job 42:5-6)

For more: Application Part of a Bible Lesson – Teacher Training Resources

Help Students Be Discerning

Help Students Learn Discernment

Bible teachers need to help their students, young or old, learn to be discerning — to make wise, good, and godly choices. We live in a world that views truth as relative, leaving people to do what is right in their own eyes. But, as God reminds us, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12).

Bible Teachers Can Do the Following to Help Their Students Learn to be More Discerning:

1) Start with Scripture.

God’s Word is the starting point for discernment. Help people understand the power and usefulness of God’s Word “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).

For more:

Resource Page: How to Teach the Bible’s Content

2) Work toward the practical application of truth to life.

Discernment comes from not just knowing Scripture but using it — “who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14). To get beyond mere head knowledge to applying truth to life, teachers need to employ methods that show students how to do that. Dramatic play can work well with younger children. Role play and case studies can work well with older children, youth, and adults. You’ll find help with those methods plus others in the Sharpening Your Bible Teaching Methods Resource.

For more:

Resource Page: Application Part of a Bible Lesson – Teacher Training Resources

3) Encourage students to get into the Word on their own.

Teachers must get beyond “spoon-feeding” their students. You cannot possibly cover every need, decision, or obstacle students will face. They need to learn to turn to God’s Word to find answers for their questions and situations they face that weren’t learned in the classroom.

Resource Page: How to Teach Students to Value, Study, Know & Apply the Bible

4) Pray for students.

Teachers can only take students so far. Practicing in a contrived situation is different from applying truth to real life. Remember that while we can’t be there with students every day to help them make the right choices, the Holy Spirit is with them if they have put their trust in Jesus, so pray. They need supernatural power to rise above and consistently make decisions born out of God-centered and love-based discernment. Pray that they live more consistently in line with God and His Word, no matter where they are or who they’re around which requires them to “be transformed by the renewing of their mind. Then they will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).

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