“Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
A gifted Bible teacher is a gift from God. He equips them with the discernment of His Word and the ability to apply it to everyday life. Gifted teachers dissect facts from Holy Scripture and then bridge their relevance into contemporary society. This requires prayerful preparation. Biblical facts without application become dry, dusty, and boring. Indeed, factual information without individual life change facilitates our pride.
“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:1–2).
The danger is to fill our minds without a change of heart; so the gifted Bible teacher presents his message to both mind and heart. Of course, the other extreme is a potential problem. Bible teachers who attempt to apply the Scripture without proper biblical context and grounding in God’s Word run the risk of sharing opinion rather than absolutes and Scriptural principles. Truth needs to be released, not watered down or overexplained.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 nkjv).
The teacher’s role is to harvest God’s truth and humbly deliver it to the sheep of his flock. Like a seasoned chef, he wants the delivery to invite interest. The presentation of a delicious meal is inviting to the eye and stomach; so the proper presentation of God’s Word is to the head and heart. One quality of an effective delivery is a humble spirit.
People do not want to be talked down to. They want to be taught by a fellow learner and struggler. People respect you for your strengths but connect with you for your weaknesses. “Perfect” Bible teachers build walls between the people, while “imperfect” ones build bridges to the people. The best Bible teachers are those who perceive themselves as growing in the process of their own Christian maturity.
Another good quality of a compelling presentation is stories. Jesus told stories. Stories illustrate truth with clarity. Like the sun shining through a freshly cleaned window, you can see much better. Interesting storytellers are students of people who understand their hopes and fears. Gifted Bible teachers comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Lastly, the gifted Bible teacher loves to read, research, and engraft God’s Word into his own soul. The Bible oozes from his being. Scripture is not just a source for sermon preparation, but first a source for heart preparation. He opens the Word of God and asks God to speak to him and to change him. Private study with personal application leads to public connection.
God, change me first, so I can present your truth to others in need of You. Pour me out as a broken vessel to others who are hungry and thirsty for Your truth!
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Prayer: Do I allow the Word of God to change me first, before I teach it to others?
Related Readings: Ezra 7:6; Ecclesiastes 12:9–11; Hebrews 5:12; James 3:1
Post/Tweet: People respect you for your strengths but connect with you for your weaknesses. #giftedbibleteachers
© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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