Good Bible Teachers are Relevant

Every generation has been defined or influenced by a unique set of significant social issues particular to that generation’s time and location. Some contemporary social issues include same sex marriage, abortion, gun laws, terrorism, human trafficking, immigration, high unemployment, and rising national debt. On a more personal level, many people are dealing with employment, marriage, parenting, health and financial issues. A Bible teacher who is relevant is aware of the most current social issues that impact the lives of learners. A relevant teacher will be able to discuss issues that are relevant to people in their class and be able to speak intelligently regarding the social issues being discussed in the public square or in the break room. The goal is not to win a debate, but to clearly communicate the Word of God so that learners can know and apply God’s truth. Individual churches should include education regarding social issues in their teacher training curriculum so that teachers understand the church’s scriptural stance on these topics. Greater awareness can also be accomplished by consistently watching and reading the news. Often more research and study will be required to have a strong grasp of all the facts. Reading books or attending seminars and conferences may be necessary. Merely knowing facts about an issue is insufficient. Furthermore, knowing the key Scriptures passages and Biblical principles that are applicable is crucial. Paul said, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). For example, if the subject is the right to life, a teacher should be able to support a pro-life view based upon Scripture. Teachers should acknowledge they are not experts on controversial social issues. On some occasions a class member may have an agenda regarding a particular issue. A teacher must be careful not to be drawn into a debate not pertinent to the planned Bible lesson by tactfully offering more discussion outside of class and moving back into the lesson. Teachers must remember the apostle Paul’s words, “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen” (2 Tim. 2:14).   Regardless of the topic, teachers must focus on offering a Biblical perspective through the sharing of God’s Word. If a class member shares an issue with you that is beyond your ability to address appropriately, refer that person to a Pastor or qualified counselor.

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