Here’s an idea for a teacher training session to use with your church’s Bible teachers. It can be used with teachers of any age.
How many of you want to be effective Bible teachers? That is God’s desire for you as well. Listen to what He says in 2 Timothy 2:15 — “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Teachers must “do” certain tasks to be effective. What are these tasks?
Have teachers make a list of tasks they believe will make them effective. You can write their responses on a white or chalk board or on a piece of poster board.
While all these tasks from preparation to presentation and follow-up of the lesson will help you be effective, who you are, not just what you do, will make an even greater difference. Listen to God’s assessment:
Do not consider his appearance or his height … The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Lk. 6:45)
All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart. (Prov. 21:2)
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matt. 12:34)
You might want to distribute the references to have different group members look up and read the verses from their Bibles or give them the verse already typed out on sheets of paper for different individuals to read.
Now let’s make a list of qualities related to “being” that God deems important.
Using the following passages, make a list of qualities teachers need to “be” in order to be more effective. Use the same means of making a list as you did in part 1 and display the list next to the first list.
2 Peter 1:5-7
These qualities of “being” will help us “do” what we should do more effectively.
Look at the list of tasks teachers must do to be effective.
- Which task do you seem to struggle with the most?
Give everybody a blank sheet of paper. Have them write down what they personally struggle with the most at the top of the page.
- How might the “being” qualities you listed help you to be more effective or more productive in accomplishing the task you just listed?
Give them a few moments to think about this question, looking at the list of qualities, and then write down their response. Then, ask at least a few of the teachers to share with everybody, allowing others to add into the assessment of how the qualities would help them.
For example somebody might struggle with lesson preparation … taking the time to adequately study. If they were self-controlled as seen in Galatians 5, they would be more disciplined in setting aside the needed time and sticking with it, saying no to distractions, etc.
We have seen how the qualities God looks for help us “do” the tasks we need to do as teachers. But, God is not asking us to conjure up these qualities on our own. We find some key phrases in these passages:
- Galatians 5:22 begins its list of qualities with, “But the fruit of the Spirit is …”
- Prior to the list in 2 Peter 1, verse 3 states, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness …”
If we are going to “be” the kind of teacher who makes a difference, God must be the One at work in our lives. We need to yield what we have on our papers to the Spirit to build these qualities in our lives. We need to pull on His power. Remember, Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Divide into pairs. Partners should swap papers, read what is on the paper, and then pray for one another. Suggest that they take their partner’s paper home and commit to praying for one another, perhaps even asking each other how it is going in upcoming weeks.
If the above idea seems too threatening for your group, you could simply ask teachers to write out a prayer for themselves on their paper. Suggest they commit to praying similarly over the next several weeks.
Order the Be-Attitudes for Teachers Devotional Guide Download so you can print a copy for each teacher to do at least one lesson a week. Distribute it at the end of the session.