Friday, November 25, 2011

Observed Time Rhythms, vs. Revealed Time Rhythms

Teachers, you need a rhythm of work that includes rest.

These time periods are observed from the astronomical rhythms (which, of course, are God's design):
The day
The month
The year

But the concept of a week is a revelation from God.  There is nothing astronomical about a week.  While your body has a daily need for sleep, there is nothing 'natural' about needing a rest day each week.  These are revealed to us by God as good for us.  The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)

Incorporate a day of rest in your teaching ministry.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011


God used Charles Spurgeon, again and again. Check out his sermons online. (Sermon collections like this area  great --and free! -- resource if you're looking for ideas on how to present key ideas from a passage.)

How is God working through you today? It's not a question of if He is working in you and through you, but how.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Helps for Interpreting Leviticus

I don't think I've ever heard a Bible teacher say, "Wow, I can't wait to teach Leviticus to my class!  They'll love it!"  (Kidding.)  Leviticus is an important book to study for understanding holiness, the cost of sin, and the magnitude of God's love for us in Christ.  Here is a good framework for interpreting the rituals, sacrifices, and ceremonies.  And once you've applied yourself in this study -- you'll actually find new ways to bring this into your teaching!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How To Pray For Missionaries

As a teacher you will often be in position to lead in prayer.  Here's some excellent advice about praying for missionaries from David Sitton's book,"Reckless Abandon":

"When people ask me how to pray for missionaries, I tell them they need to be remembered daily, because these kinds of stresses are everyday realities. Pray for the big things: that the gospel will advance through their efforts; that they will be sustained through loneliness; that the Lord will provide financial partnerships; and that He will protect them from illness and those who would do them harm. But also remember to pray for the everyday things: transportation to the market, strength to do tasks such as washing clothes and making meals, finding correct boundaries in relation to possessions and privacy, and enduring the stress of long periods of separation. Pray for the Lord to sustain their relationship with Him and with one another. And, particularly, pray for their children."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Speaking the Word

There is power in hearing the Word.  Here is a pastor who memorized Hebrews and spoke it as his sermon.  Wonderful, expressive, passionate!  Listen to the Word, and work at reading it aloud in ways that engage your students.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's a Good Question? -- Recommended Approaches

Print off Fred Sanders' short article "What's A Good Question?" and review it a few times.  I have a reputation for asking good questions and I had two "aha!" moments studying this article:

1. I need to keep pushing myself to ask a wide range of types of questions.  It's not just "open-ended" vs. "definite answer."

2. I need to incorporate some questions to help the conversation move amongst my students, without me always being at the center of the conversation.

And how does Sanders define a good question? "A good question evokes curiosity by exhibiting curiosity." Love it!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Prayer for Teaching

Kiely Young has a helpful article on prayer for teaching at the Sunday School Leader blog (you should subscribe if you're involved in adult Sunday School).

You must be praying for your students!  This is one of the most critical ways we teachers minister to people in our sphere of influence.

Monday, November 07, 2011

That Others May Live

I greatly admire the creed of the US Air Force Pararescue unit:

It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live.

 Notice the angel arms on their patch:

These men train for years and commit themselves to both medicine and physical capability -- at a much higher level than other airmen -- to be able to go into any situation and save lives.  

What a terrific model for we Bible teachers!  

Handouts, Yes or No? How Valuable Are They?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sin = Cosmic Treason

At times I've struggled to clearly present the biblical truths of sin to largely post-modern audiences.  So I'm generally on the watch for good material that will help me teach effectively.

This R.C. Sproul article is worth studying and putting in your reference files: "Sin is Cosmic Treason."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hook Your Audience!

Martin Luther's Counsel to Proud Teachers

Working on the craft of Bible teaching always includes efforts against our pride.  Always. Martin Luther's counsel to proud teachers is quite appropriate!

"If, however, you feel and are inclined to think you have made it, flattering yourself with your own little books, teaching, or writing, because you have done it beautifully and preached excellently; if you are highly pleased when someone praises you in the presence of others; if you perhaps look for praise, and would sulk or quit what you are doing if you did not get it—if you are of that stripe, dear friend, then take yourself by the ears, and if you do this in the right way you will find a beautiful pair of big, long, shaggy donkey ears.
Then do not spare any expense! Decorate them with golden bells, so that people will be able to hear you wherever you go, point their fingers at you, and say, “See, see! There goes that clever beast, who can write such exquisite books and preach so remarkably well.” That very moment you will be blessed and blessed beyond measure in the kingdom of heaven. Yes, in that heaven where hellfire is ready for the devil and his angels."

HT: Timothy George