Valentine’s Day: Tie Teacher Training into Holidays

Valentine's Day & Teacher Training
(Click to enlarge & repin in Pinterest.)

 

In training teachers we can provide training about the effects of the holidays on the classroom but we can also sometimes tailor training to a holiday theme. Let’s use Valentine’s Day as an example. Love and/or relationship building can be the theme.

Variety of ways to use this Valentine’s Day holiday as a means of training and supporting your Bible teachers:

1) Challenge teachers about how they reflect the love of God to their students and/or how well they promote relationship building in the classroom.

2) Provide reminders about how love is the greatest characteristic they could ever bring to their teaching.

3) Give them tips on how to teach about God’s love.

4) Encourage them to make the most of the holiday through guided conversation and activities.

5) Help teachers make the most of the holiday by pointing them to resource ideas they can use in the classroom for Valentine’s Day.

6) Provide notes of encouragement, affirmation, and appreciation written on hearts or valentines to your teachers as a form of building them up.

What to Aim for in Application of a Bible lesson?

We all might agree that Bible teachers should be aiming toward application of truth with their students. And, as we’ve noted in a previous post, fellow students should be spurring one another on as well. But, what does application look like?

The Aim of Bible Application Based on Hebrews 10:24

Spur One Another On
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Notice how Hebrews 10:24 exhorts us to spur one another on to “love and good deeds”.

1) Love

We often think of application as an outward act… what we “do” with what we learn. Notice, however, that we are to spur one another on to love, the greatest character trait we could ever have (Jn. 13:35; 1 Cor. 13:13; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).

To Read:

Once we truly love God and others, the proper actions tend to follow. As Jesus stated when acknowledging love for God and people as the Greatest Commandments, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37-40). Consequently, if you want your students to obey God’s commands, teach them to love. Love is what brings the proper motivation in obedience.

To Read:

2) Good Deeds

Though to love is the greatest, it doesn’t end there. We are to spur one another on to love AND good deeds. We need to get beyond feelings and good intentions, even those defined as love, to DOING good — that which is honorable, that which is excellent — which happens when love is part of the equation. We want to do that which honors God when we love Him. We want to give Him our best. And, we want to share that goodness with others. We show God love when we keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15, 21).

The Bottom Line: When working on the application part of Bible lessons, think about both inward and outward evidences of having learned. Focus on the heart as well as actions.

How Deliberate to be About Application?

Spur One Another On
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The command in Hebrews 10:24 to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” pertains to all believers in their relationships with each other.

The role of Bible teachers toward their students would provide a more contrived platform for this to happen as part of the lesson plan. If we are to spur one another on in the course of relating to one another, certainly this is a responsibility for teachers as well.

“Consider how” Suggests Thoughtfulness in Being Deliberate about Application

To “consider how” to spur others on means putting some deliberate thought into how we might help others live life in Christ. This isn’t just a casual or fleeting thought but fixing our mind on it.

For Bible teachers that means putting careful attention onto the application of the truth being taught. Does the curriculum go far enough in helping students work through the implications and application of the lesson? If not, what can you do to ensure the lesson spurs students on? What methods can you use to better help students not only understand God’s Word but practice applying it? What can you do to follow-up with students throughout the week to encourage them to do something with what they learned? Bottom line: What is the best way you can help students apply truth?

“Spur … on” Suggests Intensity in Being Deliberate about Application

The idea of spurring others on suggest an intense effort to assist them. The original Greek word contains the idea of prodding, provoking, irritating, urging. This isn’t just a mild suggestion of what they might do but a pointed and concerted effort.

For Bible teachers that could mean not only helping students get specific about how they might apply the lesson but also seeking a commitment from them to take steps in that direction. Are you taking students out of their comfort zones, getting them to seriously make decisions to act on what they’ve learned? Are you asking the Spirit to bring conviction upon people’s lives? Bottom line: How can you provide sufficient challenge for students to apply truth?

Whose Responsibility is Bible Application?

Previously we considered how application isn’t just a good idea but it is God’s idea. Consequently, rather than ask “if” truth should be applied to life perhaps we should look at these questions:

  • Whose responsibility is lesson application?
  • How deliberate should we be about application of truth to students’ lives?
  • What should we be aiming for in the application of truth to life?

We will start with the first question in this article. Upcoming posts looking at the next questions. (You can subscribe to receive e-mail notification of new posts.)

Whose responsibility is it for students to apply the truth they are learning to life?

We might be quick to respond to that question by saying that the individual students are the ones accountable for what they do with what they learn.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24-27)

While that might be true, we need to also consider the role of the Bible teacher, fellow students, and God Himself.

Spur One Another On to Love and Good Deeds
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

The Role of Bible Teachers in Helping Students Apply Truth to Life

Hebrews 10:24 pertains to our relationships with one another in the Body of Christ. Certainly teachers have an added responsibility to make sure this happens as a result of Bible lessons. Teachers need to plan Bible lessons with application in mind. They also need to be praying for students to live in obedience to God’s Word. The Apostle Paul prayed for the people he taught that they would “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (Col 1:9-10).

Worksheet: Application: It’s God’s idea
More Resources: Application Part of a Bible Lesson Teacher Training Resources

The Role of Fellow Students in Helping One Another Put What They’re Learning into Practice

The New Testament contains many “one another” commands such as the exhortation found in Hebrews 10:24 to “spur one another on to love and good deeds.” This kind of reciprocal ministry one toward another can best be accomplished in a small group setting. Bible teachers can encourage such fellowship and accountability within their classes so students remind one another throughout the week to apply what has been learned.

The Role of God Himself in Helping Students Apply His Word

Bible teachers and fellow students can only provide the encouragement for people to obey God’s Word. God alone can empower them. — “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Cor. 3:7)

The context of Hebrews 10:24 lets us know that the responsibility for Bible application goes beyond Bible teachers, the individual, and fellow students to the work God does in people’s lives. The first eighteen verses of Hebrews 10 deal with the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf so our sin could be atoned for once for all and so we can be made holy in God’s sight. Because of that, we can have such confidence and security that we not only approach Him and hold on to Him in our own lives but also “spur one another on” as well.