As Conduits, Depend on God

Teachers who view God as the One who truly meets needs, view themselves as conduits through whom His Spirit works. They are not the Source for change and growth in their students’ live but rather God. Consequently, they depend on God to work both in and through them.

Conduits Depend on Godfor it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13)

  • Pray that teachers see themselves as conduits of God’s grace and truth.
  • Pray that teachers understand the role of the Holy Spirit in helping students understand truth.
  • Pray that teachers depend on God as the real force behind changed lives (1 Cor. 3:6-7).

The Praying for Bible Teachers Throughout the Year resource contains prayer guides for each month. The theme for the month begins with the letter of that month to make it easier to remember how to pray that month even without the guide in hand. For example, the D in December can stand for Dependence on God, which is what teachers need to be effective.

Foundation for Bible Teaching

The Bible doesn’t just provide us with what to teach but also how to teach. It’s the best teacher training manual for Bible teachers. A casual look at what the Bible says can help but the real benefit comes from really thinking through some of the key Scripture passages that can be applied to teaching God’s Word. An exposition of these Bible verses is what will really lay a good foundation.

Key Scripture Passages That Lay a Solid Foundation for Bible Teaching

Scripture is the Foundation for Bible Teaching
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

Below you will find some key passages that provide foundational truths to apply to Bible teaching along with links to articles that exposit these verses. More will be added to this list in the future. They are listed in the order of the Books of the Bible, not by order of importance. Let’s remember that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Deuteronomy 31:12

Acts 20:27

1 Timothy 1:3-5

2 Timothy 2:15

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Bible Basics

If you’re someone interested in teaching God’s Word or if you’re responsible for recruiting teachers, make sure knowledge about God’s Word includes at least the following Bible Basics.

Bible Basics for Teachers of God’s Word

Use this acrostic as a guide or check list for the basics Bible teachers should know about God’s Word.

B – Beginning

The Bible starts with God … “in the beginning, God …” (Gen. 1:1), assuming the existence of God, the One of whom there is none greater.

Basic Because: Without this belief, it all pretty much falls apart, leading to doubts about its veracity and value.

A – Authority

Scripture provides an absolute standard because it was inspired by God Himself (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21), making Him both its Source and the Standard.

Basic Because: Without this premise, truth becomes relative, with people picking and choosing what to believe.

S – Structure

The Bible is composed of 66 books separated into two divisions, the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament begins with God’s creation of the heavens and earth and is then primarily about God’s relationship with Israel. The New Testament begins with the Gospels about the life and death of Jesus and then is primarily about the Church He established, consisting of believing Jews and Gentiles, and what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus now and through eternity.

Basic Because: Without this understanding, it is difficult for teachers to navigate the Bible, albeit help students find their way.

I – Intent

God intends for His Word to transform and thoroughly equip us to live for Him (Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; James 1:22), and especially that we get to know Him (Col. 1:9-10).

Basic Because: Without this purpose, we won’t teach for changed live but rather be satisfied with mere dissemination of knowledge.

C – Centerpiece

Scripture, both the Old and New Testament, points to Jesus and redemption in Him. The Old Testament looks forward to Jesus with many prophecies and types about Him. The New Testament looks back at Jesus’ work on the cross to bring salvation. (Jn. 1:45; 5:39, 46; 1 Pet. 1:10-11)

Basic Because: Without this focus, we miss the Bible’s central message of God seeking to bring those He created into a relationship with Himself through Jesus.

S – Summation

The Bible began with an earthly garden in which man’s choice resulted in separation from God and ends with a city in which Paradise is restored as all things are brought under His authority and made new.

Basic Because: Without this big picture, we don’t have hope and perspective to offer for how current life fits in to the message of God’s Word. (Rom. 15:4)

What Bible Teachers Need to Know About God’s Word - Bible BasicsResource: What Bible Teachers Need to Know About God’s Word

This four page document does not contain the above acrostic but does provide a brief recap about the authority, focus, theme, summary, and divisions of the Bible along with a panoramic view of God in the Bible. It also looks at implications for Bible teachers.

FAQ About the Discussion Method

FAQ About Discussion Method

Often when Bible teachers try to get away from lecture, they’ll turn to discussion as their teaching method. While it certainly isn’t the only method they could choose, it is a common one. And, it can bring some challenges. Here are some frequently asked questions about this methodology.

Is discussion the best method for Bible teachers to use?

Discussion has many benefits, chief of which is that by allowing students to express themselves, they participate hopefully in more meaningful ways. While discussion hails as a very good method, sometimes it is not the best method to use. The best method fits the content or learning objective. Also factor in the time element and number of students in the class. Too short of a time period can make it difficult to take the discussion far enough to adequately deal with the content or to get deep enough. Too large of a group limits meaningful participation by everyone. And, keep in mind that any method overused can become less effective. Consider other methods you might use in addition to discussion.

How can I use discussion with a large group?

The logistics of using discussion in a large group can be daunting and impractical. Depending on the room size and layout, not everyone can hear those who are talking. Only a few of the many students have opportunity to participate. Yet, discussion in a large group isn’t impossible. While it may be infeasible to use as a whole group, there are ways to break out into smaller groups — buzz groups, neighbor nudge. And, there are ways to allow everyone to participate at least a little in the whole group — circle response or word reaction wherein everyone gives a one word/phrase response followed with discussion by those time will allow to respond. At times you might also ask all students to write down their response to a question before opening it up for discussion. That way, even though only a few can respond, all will have at least thought about it.

If you are unfamiliar with these discussion formats, consider ordering the Sharpening Your Bible Teaching Methods Resource for help with a variety of discussion-type of methods and more.

How structured should discussion be?

If too structured, discussion might move into question/answer methodology rather than be a true discussion. The question/answer method basically consists of the teacher asking a question and someone answering. In a true discussion, the teacher may still be the one to ask the questions but dialogue ensues between students.

If too loose, discussion might get off on tangents and miss the lesson’s objective. Rather than a learning experience, it may simply turn into a chat with little substance.

Bible teachers should find the balance of sufficiently guiding the discussion so it stays on track but allowing enough freedom for real dialog to occur multi-directionally and so learning goes to higher levels than merely answering questions factually. Consequently, teachers must come prepared with questions that provide a flow toward the lesson’s objectives but be ready to make adjustments. If teachers don’t come sufficiently prepared, they’ll will be less likely to keep the discussion on track.