Teachers play an important role in all our lives. Not just in our younger school days, but in our spiritual growth. As Christians, we are called to grow in our faith. To do that, we must learn from God’s word and learn from others. If you are a Bible teacher, pastor, small group leader, or want to become those things, it’s important to know what The Bible say about teachers.
What does the Bible say about teachers?
1. What Bible teachers should teach
As a Christian speaker and author, I know how hard it can be to think about what to teach others.
When we look at scripture, it actually tells us what we should teach others.
Read the verses below and ask yourself: what should I focus on when teaching
- Proverbs 1:2-6 ESV To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6 to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
- Matthew 28:20 ESV Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Exodus 18:20 ESV And you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do.
After reading these verses, you might be thinking that these verses don’t give you a specific answer. It gives you a general answer.
As spiritual leaders and Christian speakers, we need to focus all our teachings on God’s word. Not portions of it, but all of it. Including both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
So often it’s tempting to skip portions of scripture because we don’t understand it or we don’t like it. But, it’s important we take a large lens when teaching scripture.
That means when I’m teaching a portion from the new testament, I need to take into account what the whole Bible says. We need to have an understanding of the verse’s context in that chapter book and the entire Bible.
I know that sounds intimidating, but it’s just a reminder that we can’t just take one verse in The Bible and create a whole theology on it. We must consider other portions of The Bible and ask ourselves how these ideas connect and what the true message is.
2. How Bible teachers should teach
I’ve been a Christian for a long time and have been around Bible teachers since I was born. In that time, I heard many speakers.
In my experience, there are too many teachers who use scripture as a weapon, or think highly about themselves because of the position teaching gives them in the church.
When we teach God’s word, it’s easy to feel superior or to look down on others who may not know as much as we do. But, it’s important to remember that we are called to teach differently.
May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.Deuteronomy 32:2 ESV
This verse encourages Bible teachers to be gentle in their speech and let our words be a blessing to others and bring refreshment.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
This verse reminds us how easy it is to misuse scripture. We need to study God’s word and use it properly- learning how to use God’s word to encourage others and more.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.2 Timothy 4:2 ESV
This verse tells us to use teaching as a way to rebuke and exhort but to do both with patience. Too often teachers are happy to rebuke but do so in an unloving way, or they don’t have the patience to help someone grow. Learning takes time, and we need to be patient with those we are shepherding.
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3. The importance of allowing The Lord to teach & guide us
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.John 14:26 ESV
As teachers, it’s easy to think we know it all and can teach without any support. But this idea is not Biblical. If anything, Bible teachers need more time with God and in His word, not less.
We need to remember that we also need teaching and we should always depend on The Lord to guide us as we learn, prepare and teach.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.James 1:5 ESV
Sometimes, people expect Bible teachers to know everything. But we don’t. So when we are faced with something we are unsure of, it’s best we admit we aren’t sure and then take the time to turn to The Lord for wisdom.
- Colossians 3:16 ESV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
These verses remind us how important it is to let the word of God dwell in us. That means reading it, meditating on it, praying through it, and studying it.
It also reminds us that we need to depend on The Lord for understanding.
- John 16:13 ESV When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
- Luke 12:12 ESV For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
These last two verses highlight the work of the Holy Spirit in our learning and teaching.
If we have the gift of teaching, then it comes from The Lord. He’s the one who opens our minds to understanding. He’s the one who guides us as we prepare to teach, and he’s the one who will encourage us when we take that leap and teach others about His word.
As teachers, nothing we do should come from ourselves. Instead, it should come from The Lord and the leading of The Holy Spirit.
4. A Teacher’s Character
The list of verses below are pretty self-explanatory so I won’t comment on each one. But, as an introduction, I want to encourage every teacher to grow in their character and to allow The Spirit of God to change them to become more like Christ.
As leaders in ministry, our home, or anywhere else, people look to us as examples. So, it’s important we strive to be more and more like Christ.
- 2 Timothy 2:24 ESV And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
- Titus 2:3-5 ESV Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
- 1 Peter 3:15 ESV But in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
- Psalm 37:31 ESV The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
- Titus 2:7-8 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
5. We are judged for what we teach
Before I started teaching God’s word, the verses below were on my mind. They are reminders of the burden we carry and the consequences we face if we mislead God’s people.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.James 3:1-2
These verses are warning us that teachers are held to a higher standard. Since we teach others, our words influence them, and will follow what we say. If we lead them away from God’s truth, then the consequences of that are higher. So we must be careful what we teach and where we are leading people. Are we leading people towards The Lord, or away?
Today, I’ve shared what the Bible says about teachers. It’s a high calling and one we must approach with humility and gentleness. In the comments below, share one verse that helps you in your Biblical teaching.
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