Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clear Thinking and Reasoning on Challenging Subjects

Stand to Reason posted a wonderful collection of short videos (44 at this writing) on YouTube. Most are less than 4 minutes. Greg Koukl is terrific at explaining things like the nature of faith, whether all religions are the same, how to think about the problem of evil -- the kinds of things you and I should be able to intelligently, charitably, reasonably discuss with our families, our friends, our neighbors.

Recommended. Check out the collection here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Following HARD After Jesus

"Once you let anybody other than Jesus tell you what to do, you begin to die.”

Read this strong post from Perry Noble about staying on course, preaching the Gospel and obeying Jesus. Every ministry leader needs this message.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gift of Teaching?

Occasionally I'm asking if you need the spiritual gift of teaching to be an effective teacher.

Certainly teaching is among the spiritual gifts Paul mentions in Romans 12:4-8.

Here's my personal view: I do not think it is required, but I observe that it is unusual to find an excellent teacher who enjoys teaching who does not have the gift of teaching.

Let me explain. Consider this statement about mastery of a craft (and teaching is a craft, a practice that requires discipline over time):

"What creates someone who is a master of their craft? It's the combination of gifting, learning, and practice. The gifted person who is well practiced in their art makes it look easy." -- Terry Dean

So mastery requires gifting, how-to knowledge (or awareness), and practice over time.

The simple fact is that no one loves doing something that they aren't good at. And it's very difficult to excel at teaching if you haven't put in time and disciplined practice. You can get the job done, but you are doing just that -- without a love for the process and experience.

Many teachers feel drawn to teaching, but have not invested themselves to acquire knowledge about how to teach well. Or they lack practice. Those can be learned, acquired.

But the gift of teaching? It's not something that humanly speaking we can seek out and acquire. (That's why it's called a gift!)
Quote to Ponder

"The Scriptures are God's voice; The Church is His echo." -- John Donne

Make sure you saturate your teaching with Scripture.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Looking for a Thanksgiving Devotion?

If you're looking for a Thanksgiving-related devotion, here's a good starting point.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturated with Prayer

We cannot emphasize enough the work of prayer in selecting Biblical material to teach, studying the texts, developing useful lessons that encourage life application, delivering/presenting the material, and follow-up to make sure our students are learning.

Prayers are not bookends to tack on the front and back of work. Prayer is the work. We ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance as we select and study Biblical passsages. We ask God to help us tailor material for our particular class or group at this particular time (whom else will truly know their needs?). We uphold students before the throne of all Grace so that they would be open to receive what the Lord wants them to know, and take it to heart. We saturate our teaching time with prayer, and ask others to pray as well. And we continue to pray for our students as we go forward, that God's work would take root and grow in their lives.

May we never be teachers who say, "Yes, I have prayed enough, time to move on."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Teach the Jesus Way" Now Available

My newest product for Bible teachers is now available -- "Teach the Jesus Way." You can read my letter describing all the contents.
Praying Through Scripture

Outstanding article recommending teachers coach others to pray through Scripture. Recommended.

If you aren't practicing this, then begin today.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Listening Skills

Looking for a significant opportunity for improvement in your teaching? Work to improve listening. Try these helpful ideas.

People are much more likely to listen to you if they know they have been heard. And you will have a much better presentation if you know their needs. Above all, let's be good listeners of our Lord.

"This is my son, whom I love. Listen to Him!" (Mark 9:7)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How Could You Leverage National Bible Week?

The US Congress declared that Nov 19-26 is National Bible Week. How could you use this as a platform to encourage Bible study in your local church or small group? Christianity Today has an excellent jumping-off point with lots of resources that may be helpful.

"The Bible is the rope God throws us in order to ensure that we stay connected while the rescue is in progress." -- J.I. Packer

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Teach Prayer by Praying

Check out this post on "The Sunday School Revolutionary" about teaching people to pray by praying.

I believe prayer is more caught than taught. So we need to be prayer mentors and "coaches" by fostering environments where we pray together.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Teach the Jesus Way

I've been working hard on new material, a package of text, audio, and video coaching titled "Teach the Jesus Way." Learn more at