7 Characteristics of Good Bible Teachers

7 Characteristics of Good Bible Teachers

Several things come into play that impacts the quality of teaching. The sound of your voice, your cadence, and even the way you dress. There are even more important aspects to teaching scripture than what I will cover below, such as having a clear understanding of the Bible, studying your topic diligently, and most importantly, being faithful to the text. If we do everything I will cover below but misrepresent the Bible passage we are teaching, we have only done a better job of leading people astray.

Teaching scripture is a spiritual gift, but it is also a skill. This means that not everyone is called to be a teacher; it also means just because someone is gifted does not mean they do not need to improve their skills. Several things come into play that impacts the quality of teaching. The sound of your voice, your cadence, and even the way you dress. There are even more important aspects to teaching scripture than what I will cover below, such as having a clear understanding of the Bible, studying your topic diligently, and most importantly, being faithful to the text. If we do everything I will cover below but misrepresent the Bible passage we are teaching, we have only done a better job of leading people astray.

Assuming all the foundations of biblical understanding are in place, and the teacher has studied with diligence, here are seven things to keep in mind as you prepare to teach.

A good teacher is concerned about wasting their student’s time.

If you are teaching scripture, you tend to have a captive audience. If you work for an academic institution, your students must be there to pass the class. For the rest of us, we tend to teach in a church setting. What this means is the faithful will tend to show up whether we are good teachers or not. Never use this as an excuse to phone it in. Be sure to respect their time by delivering the truth to them. Do not buy into the temptation that if you fill your lesson with funny stories, you have used their time wisely because they had a good time. Learn to use illustrations to further the truth you are speaking, not to entertain.

A good teacher is more concerned with clarity than appearing highbrow.

The goal of teaching is for the student to have a better understanding of the topic. Know your student’s level of theological training and speak to them on their level. Avoid the temptation to impress them with your knowledge by using terms and concepts that will not resonate with them. Sometimes learning new words and ideas is part of the lesson. In that case, use the appropriate terms, but explain it to them using what they already understand. Remember, clarity is an apologetic. Students will retain and adhere to what makes sense; the muddled and confused will blow away like chaff.

A good teacher explains why what they are teaching is important.

Sometimes, it is not apparent why what we are teaching matters. If that is the case, make sure the topic’s significance is part of your lesson. For example, if you teach the census counts in the book of Numbers, do not simply tell them how many tribes there were and how many people were in each tribe. Be sure to let them know how this shows God’s faithfulness, how he fulfills his promises.

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