Sunday, February 13, 2011

Study the Bible, Just For You

Let me ask you a question: when was the last time that you
did a Bible study, investigating a book or topic or theme,
just for yourself, with no teaching need driving you?

When I ask other teachers this question, I usually get
sheepish looks. One honest man told me that he likes to be
teaching, because then he has a strong reason to be in the
Word. He struggles to be in the Bible consistently if he's
not driven by a teaching need.

Teacher burnout is a significant issue in the church
today. We don't have enough Great Bible Teachers like you,
and so there are heavy burdens on most of our teachers.
It's all too easy to fall into a rut of studying and
personal Bible study that are only hours or days ahead of
the class you're teaching.

(When I was in grad school, it was ok to be a half-class
ahead of the undergrads I was teaching. But that's not the
way Great Bible Teachers should operate.)

So here is an important assignment for you: make time for
personal study and reflection, independent of any teaching
need that's on your calendar.

This is critical for your personal development,
Elaine. Follow an interest, see where it takes you.
Put aside some time to focus on this -- the Lord has much
to say to you.

Just read the Bible for your own enjoyment, with notebook
in hand.

What you pursue is up to you, but I do have one suggestion
-- pick something a little different than your usual
comfort areas. For many people, a study in the minor
prophets would be profitable.

You'll be amazed at how much the Lord will teach you. And
someday you'll probably use what you're learning in your
teaching ministry, but don't pursue it with that end in
mine. Pursue this study to build yourself up, and receive
instructions and encouragement from our gracious Lord.

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