Teaching people about Jesus through the Scriptures is one of my favorite things to do. But over the years, I’ve discovered bad habits that I had to overcome.
If you teach at all, I’d guess that you struggle with things like this too. So I thought it might be helpful to list a few things we tend to do that I believe to be outside of our “job description” as teachers.
As a teacher your job is not to …
1. Give a book report. Many times when we are preparing a message, we will read books and commentaries. We then begin working out a flow of thought by organizing all the information we obtained. And if we’re not careful, we end up giving little more than a book report to those we are teaching. We must remember that this is not our job.
Studying what God has revealed to other people about about a passage or topic can be good to do in many regards, but I would suggest that great caution should be taken to make sure that our study does not hinder us from prayerfully considering what God wants us to say, personally. For me, I had to stop beginning my preparation by reading other sources.
Instead, I now begin with prayer and personally walking through the Bible study methods I teach others—and then look at resources to support or confront the things I’ve learned from my personal study.
2. Conform behavior. If our messages are not applicable to the lives of those we teach, we are wasting our time. But if we’re not careful, our desire to be practical can easily cause us to simply teach proper behavior. There is a fine line here to watch carefully. I’d suggest our job isn’t to get people to do things but rather to help them understand, love and enjoy Jesus.
Chuck Bomar planted and is lead pastor of Colossae Church in Portland, Ore. He is also founder of both CollegeLeader and iampeople. He is author of six books, with the most recent being the highly anticipated work Better Off Without Jesus.
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