Harsh Words From Jesus Aimed At Teachers

Jesus aimed some of His harshest words at the Scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23). These guys were called teachers. Jesus called them hypocrites and blind guides. James warned that not everyone should become a teacher because of the greater expectations. In the Bible, God presents instruction, illustrations, and models, for Bible teachers to follow. The challenge is to know those expectations and seek to fulfill them. Capturing God’s Passion for Teaching is designed to explore God’s guidance for teachers and to provide some helpful ideas and techniques that will aid in the preparation and presentation of Bible lessons. A teacher that pleases the heart of God prepares both spiritually and mentally. As Paul said to Timothy, a good teacher seeks to show himself “approved to God” (2 Tim. 2:15). Strengthening believers in their knowledge of God’s Word is essential to spiritual growth, successful Christian living and the growth of the church. Bible teachers have a unique opportunity to help other believers gain a thorough understanding of God’s Word.  Daryl Eldridge, in the foreword to The Teaching Ministry of the Church, writes, “The simple truth is that the church that fails to teach will fail in its mission and therefore will cease to be the church.”[i] According to George Gallup, “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it.”[ii] According to Barna survey results,“most church-going adults reject the accuracy of the Bible, reject the existence of Satan, claim that Jesus sinned, see no need to evangelize, believe that good works are one of the keys to persuading God to forgive their sins, and describe their commitment to Christianity as moderate or even less firm.”[iii] That is scary. The church must be diligent in training of Bible teachers to ensure that Christians who are lacking in Bible knowledge are not attempting to teach others. The biblical literacy of teachers must be improved so that they can help raise the literacy of their students. Asking teachers to simply repeat what they have read in pre-developed curricula creates the possibility of teachers attempting to teach and answer questions regarding doctrines they do not understand. [i] William Yount, The Teaching Ministry of the Church, 2nd ed., ed. William R. Yount (Nashville, TN.: B&H Academic, 2008), xii. [ii]George Gallup, Jr., and Jim Castelli, The People’s Religion: American Faith in the 90’s (New York: Scribner, 1989), 60. [iii]“Religious Beliefs Vary Widely by Denomination,” The Barna Group, www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/53-religious-beliefs-vary-widely-by-denomination  (accessed October 21, 2012).

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