Saturday, September 12, 2009

Marks of a Teaching Leader

John Piper outlines the characteristics of a good teacher in his excellent article, "Marks of a Spiritual Leader":

  • A good teacher asks himself the hardest questions, works through to answers, and then frames provocative questions for his learners to stimulate their thinking.
  • A good teacher analyzes his subject matter into parts and sees relationships and discovers the unity of the whole.
  • A good teacher knows the problems learners will have with his subject matter and encourages them and gets them over the humps of discouragement.
  • A good teacher foresees objections and thinks them through so that he can
    answer them intelligently.
  • A good teacher can put himself in the place of a variety of learners and therefore explain hard things in terms that are clear from their standpoint.
  • A good teacher is concrete, not abstract, specific, not general, precise, not vague, vulnerable, not evasive.
  • A good teacher always asks, "So what?" and tries to see how discoveries shape our whole system of thought. He tries to relate discoveries to life and tries to avoid compartmentalizing.
  • The goal of a good teacher is the transformation of all of life and thought into a Christ-honoring unity.

I like the mix of characteristics of thinking/analysis, preparation, and concern for souls and life change. This is a good list for self-assessment.

The whole article is worth reading, by the way. Print it off, mark it up for yourself, share with others. The larger world, your church, your neighborhood, and your family are crying out for strong spiritual leaders.

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