Sometimes in fishing with nets, fishermen would have to make some adjustments. Depending on current weather conditions, depth of the fish, etc., they would have to either add some weights or sinkers or perhaps add some floats or corks. At times they would pull the net back in and cast it on the other side of the boat. The objective? — do what was needed to go where the fish would most likely be. They may need to adjust and then readjust to reach that objective.
Since the word used in the New Testament for preparing nets (Matt. 4:21; Mk. 1:19) is also used in Ephesian 4:12 where it says pastors and teachers are to “equip his people for works of service”, we should be able to make some parallels. Our objective should also be to best reach our students where they are.
Readjustments Needed in the Equipping Process
In the lesson planning stage, Bible teachers may need to make adjustments to the curriculum to best fit their particular students. Then, during the actual lesson, they may need to readjust the lesson to fit the particular students who are there that day. Perhaps one of the methods won’t work with the number of students present. Or, maybe students are so distracted by current events that the teacher needs to readjust the introduction to capture their attention.
In a time of disruption to normal church life, teachers may need to adjust the size of classes, seating arrangements, types of methods used, and other logistics. But, some of that may need to be readjusted on the spot to accommodate how many actually attend and specific needs of some individuals.
When seeking to equip outside of the normal classroom setting, teachers may encounter similar scenarios where they think they’ve made necessary adjustments but something goes wrong with the technology being used, or plans to be outside need to be changed due to weather conditions, etc., etc., etc.
Readjusting Requires that Bible Teachers Remember The Purpose of Equipping
Bible teachers who remember the long range goal of equipping find themselves better able to adapt. They do what it takes …
to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:12-13)
Equipping their students has a ripple effect on the whole Body. When Bible teachers truly equip their students, those individuals, in turn, touch the lives of others, and so forth, leading to the growth of the whole Body. When teachers understand their part in this big picture, they tend to be more willing and determined to do what it takes (1 Cor. 9:19-23) to adjust and readjust in order “to equip his people for works of service” so their students can in turn reach and build up others.