Teaching: What Does It Take?

By Rick Harlow

There are many philosophies on the market which suggest those characteristics which are necessary to make a good teacher. I would like to suggest several characteristics which are critical for the individual who desires to be an effective teacher of God’s word. This list is not all inclusive but rather just touches the hem of the garment when it comes to effective Bible teaching. Teaching others was on the mind of Christ prior to his departure from this world to take his place at the right hand of the Father. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 19-20). Let’s notice several characteristics of the effective Bible teacher:

(1) Takes Teaching Seriously: The individual who teaches others from God’s word needs to take his/her responsibilities seriously. Those who teach are in the unique position to guide some precious soul in the way God’s word teaches us that we might be saved eternally. What a tragedy it is that there are some “teachers” who do not take their responsibilities seriously.

(2) Present At The Appointed Times: It is sad to see some individuals who do not care enough to be present at the appointed study times. I’m not necessarily talking about students in this case. There are some “teachers” who do not even show up to fulfill their responsibilities during Sunday morning or Wednesday evening Bible Study periods. Sometimes these folks don’t even show the courtesy of lining up a substitute teacher. How can we ever teach our young people the importance of being present at all of the assemblies when those in positions of trust and responsibility fail in this area?

(3) Prepared: A good Bible teacher should always be prepared! A good Bible teacher will spend more time in preparation for a class than in the actual teaching of the class. An edifying and uplifting period of Bible study does not just happen by accident. It takes a lot of preparation on the part of the teacher!

(4) Humble: An effective Bible teacher will readily admit when he or she does not know the answer to a question on the mind of one of the Bible class students. Some teachers are not humble enough to either admit that they may be wrong on a particular subject or that they don’t know the answer to a particular question. There is no shame in not knowing! Be willing to admit when you may have made a wrong statement. Be willing to admit that you don’t have an answer but will be glad to study God’s word in order to find such.

Becoming a good Bible teacher does not just happen. It takes work!

Guardian of Truth XL: 12 p. 15
June 20, 1996