|The Christian Teachers'
The Christian Teacher's Handbook
by Dr. Steven G. Cook
The Teaching Program
The greatest business in all of the world is the preaching of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Word of God. Two of the most effective
methods and means of propagating the Gospel and teaching God’s wonderful
Word is by having a good, sound Sunday school program and youth ministry.
The two most important ministries of the church are to proclaim the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to the lost and the edifying (training; building up) of the
saints. There can be no substitute for providing fundamentally sound
instruction from the Word of God. Promotions, organizations, and
methodologies will never take the place of "rightly dividing the Word of God"
and proclaiming it to others. It still pleases God by the foolishness of
"preaching" to save sinners. It is still the sincere milk of God’s Word that
enables believers to grow in grace and knowledge. Therefore, sound,
consistent preaching and teaching of the Word of God is vital if the church is
to be successful in doing its part in the "Great Commission" (Matt. 28:19-20).
This booklet is designed to aid all teachers and workers involved in the
teaching of God’s Word. A thorough discussion will be made of the "Planning
of the Teaching Program", the "Preparing of the Teaching Program", and the
"Promoting of the Teaching Program". All three (3) of these areas should be
clearly outlined, discussed, and evaluated regularly to ensure the overall
success of any teaching program within the local church.
Planning of the Teaching Program
There are many different teaching ministries that may be instituted by the
local church. Whether it be a Sunday school program, a youth ministry
program, an adult teaching program, or some specialized program of
instruction is irrelevant. All teaching programs should have the same goal in
mind - "to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to edify the saints." There
should be careful coordination of all ministries instituted within the church. It
is vital that ALL programs work together in order to achieve these two
No successful teaching ministry ever occurs by accident. There must be
careful planning of both the methods and the means by which the Word of
God is proclaimed. Teaching the Word of God is an awesome responsibility. No
preacher or teacher should ever take their responsibilities lightly. It is
certain that we will all give an account of ourselves before the Lord in regard
to how we handled the Word of Life.
The Qualified Teacher
The most important ingredient to consider in any teaching ministry is the
TEACHER. The teacher is the instrument God has chosen to proclaim His
Word. The teacher will ultimately affect the success or failure of the
program. However, not all believers have been "gifted" by the Spirit to teach
His Word in a corporate setting. As we read the Scriptures, we find that God
gifts believers with different abilities within the church.
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and
some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of
the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the
unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth
be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in
wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:11-14).
While all believers should be able to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
not all believers are qualified to instruct saints. The Apostle Paul rebuked
some Hebrew Christians because they had not grown and matured spiritually
as they should have. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have
need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of
God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For
every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness for he is
a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those
who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and
evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).
Sadly, all believers do not desire to study God’s Word and learn as they
should. They seem content to feed on the "milk of the Word" and not
"strong meat". For this reason Paul says that when they "ought to be
teachers" they actually "have need that one teach AGAIN…the first
principles of the oracles of God." Not only had they not grown, but they had
digressed spiritually. Those who use the "milk" and not "strong meat" are
unskillful. Paul compares them to "babies" because they are not of "full age"
or mature spiritually. These two passages clearly reveal that not all believers
are qualified to "teach" the Word of God.
There must be careful scrutiny and consideration given to determine who will
teach within the church. The responsibility of selecting and enlisting qualified
teachers falls primarily upon the pastor of the church. It is the pastor of the
church that has been ordained by God to "shepherd the flock" (John 21:15-
17). It is the pastor of the church that has been commissioned and gifted by
God to guard against false teaching (1 Tim. 1:3-4; Eph. 4:11-14). It is the
pastor of the church who is charged to guard against those things that will
hinder the work of the Lord within the church. "I charge thee therefore
before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the
dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season,
out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an
evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Tim. 4:1-5). It was to the
pastor that the Lord gave John messages to deliver in Revelation Chapters 2-
3. It is the pastor that the Lord holds in the palm of His hand (Rev. 1:16; 20).
Teaching is vital to the success of any local church. It is the main purpose for
which the church exists. When Paul instructed young Pastor Timothy of the
church of Ephesus, he used the words "teach, teaching, teacher, teaches, and
doctrine" a total of thirty-two (32) times. In 1 Timothy 1:3-4 Paul admonished
young Pastor Timothy by saying, "As I besought thee to abide still at
Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that
they TEACH no other doctrine. Neither give heed to fables and endless
genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in
faith: so do."
The word "charge" literally means "to give strict orders from a superior
officer". As pastor of the church in Ephesus, Timothy was assigned the
enormous responsibility of guarding against heresy by superintending who
and what was being taught within the church. It is apparent that there were
some that were not teaching sound doctrine, so Timothy was instructed by
Paul that he rebuke those who taught falsely.
Satan would love to infiltrate the sound teaching programs of churches today
as well. If he can cause teachers to "wrongly divide the Word of God," then
he can disrupt the entire mission of the church. Sadly, this has been
accomplished in many churches. There are many churches today which were
once fervent, fundamental, and faithful in their teaching. However, because
of subtle compromises in sound doctrine allowed over the process of time,
these same churches have had their "candlesticks removed" by God. They
have lost their zeal, their burden, and their testimony.
There is a great need of qualified teachers in the New Testament church.
Believers who meet the qualifications outlined by the Scriptures are a
tremendous blessing to local assemblies. As the Lord "saw the multitudes (of
Israel), he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and
were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. "Then saith he unto his
disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye
therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his
harvest" (Matt. 9:36-38) Let us pray as the Lord Himself instructed.
One reason there are so few laborers is because certain qualifications are
required to teach the Word. No spiritually minded church would allow just
anyone to teach their people, therefore, let us examine some Scriptural
qualifications that should be considered.
Every teacher should be "Born-again" - No person should be allowed to give
instruction in the Word of God if they are not saved. The Scriptures are
spiritually discerned, and the unregenerated (unsaved) person has no divine
illumination of the Word of God.
Every teacher should be an active "Member" of the church - Every teacher
should be a member in "good standing" of the local church. All teaching
should reflect the doctrinal positions outlined in the "Statement of Faith"
contained in the church constitution.
Every teacher should be "Faithful" - Every teacher should be faithful (1 Cor.
4:2). By this is meant that the teacher should be faithful to the Lord; faithful
to the Sunday school program; faithful to the Sunday morning worship
service; faithful to the Sunday evening worship service; faithful to the
Wednesday prayer and Bible study; faithful to ALL special services such as
revival services, prayer conferences, homecoming services, dedication and
ordination services, baptismal services, and the observance of the Lord’s
Supper. Whenever possible, the teacher should be an "Example" to others in
the church by their faithful support of all services.
Every teacher should be "Loyal" - Every teacher should be loyal first and
foremost to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God. However, the teacher
should also be loyal to the overall vision and ministries of the church. By this
is meant that the teacher should be loyal to ALL teaching programs; loyal to
the pastor’s authority and leadership as the ordained man sent by God to
edify the saints by teaching, preaching, superintending, counseling, and
example; loyal to the deacons, trustees, Sunday school superintendent, and
youth director. A teacher who murmurs and complains about the ministries of
the church will only cause dissension and strife. The Lord considers "he that
soweth discord among the brethren" an abomination (Prov. 6:16-19).
Every teacher should be "Doctrinally Sound" - No novice (beginner) should
ever be placed into a position of teaching. Teachers should be men and women
who have spent considerable time studying and learning the Word of God.
Sadly, many churches fail miserably in this respect. Many young, immature
new converts are quickly placed into positions of teaching when they
themselves have need to be taught (Heb. 5:12-14). The teacher should be well-
versed and able to convey the doctrines taught in God’s Word concerning the
"Fundamentals of the Faith". The "Fundamentals of the Faith" include The
Infallibility of God’s Word; The Deity of Christ; The Virgin Birth & Miracles
of Jesus Christ; The Substitutionary Death of Christ; and The Bodily
Resurrection & Imminent Return of Christ.
Every teacher should live a "Separated Life" - Every teacher should teach not
only by word of mouth, but by example. It is vital to understand the
importance of maintaining "high standards" as a teacher. Our daily walk of
life should reflect the very image of our Lord (Rom. 12:1-2). No teacher will
ever convince their pupils that living holy is important unless they
themselves live holy.
Every teacher should have a sincere "Burden for Souls"- Every teacher
should spend time in prayer for the souls of their class members. Every
teacher should be able to take the Scriptures and lead a person to invite Jesus
Christ into their hearts. Every teacher should actively participate in soul-
winning activities daily. By this is meant that teachers should share their
faith with the lost; compel others to come to Christ; and be able to show them
from the Word of God how to be born-again.
Selecting & Enlisting Qualified Teachers
The selection and the enlistment of qualified teachers should never be done
without much prayer. One of the most outstanding failures of the New
Testament church today involves the selection and enlistment of teachers. No
teacher should ever be chosen solely on the basis of seniority, personality, or
popularity. While these traits are important, they should not be the primary
qualifications for choosing teachers.
Teaching the Word of God is serious business, and it should never be taken
lightly. The main purpose of the church involves teaching doctrine, and every
teacher will one day give an account of both HOW and WHAT they have
taught (Romans 14:12-13). Neither should teachers be selected or enlisted
casually by vote of the congregation. Paul warned of the consequences of such
a method of selecting teachers: "For the time will come when they will not
endure SOUND DOCTRINE; but after THEIR OWN LUSTS shall they HEAP
TO THEMSELVES TEACHERS, having itching ears; And THEY SHALL TURN
AWAY THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH, AND SHALL BE TURNED UNTO
FABLES" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
No teacher should be allowed to teach without first meeting with the pastor
and deacons and those given authority of the teaching programs of the
church. This meeting would be beneficial for several reasons. First, the
prospective teacher would be given opportunity to express his or her doctrinal
beliefs in regard to the statement of faith of the church. Secondly, the
responsibilities and challenges of teaching could be fully explained to the
prospective teacher. Thirdly, the expectations of God and the local church
could be clearly explained to the prospective teacher. Fourthly, an emphasis
upon the qualifications of a teacher, especially that of faithfulness (1 Cor. 4:
2), could be emphasized. Fifthly, any questions and concerns of the
prospective teacher could be addressed to eliminate confusions and
misunderstandings. Sixthly, the total church program can be presented to
ensure the loyalty and commitment of the prospective teacher in the event
that he or she is enlisted to teach.
At the conclusion of the meeting, no decision should be made. An offer of a
week or so should be given in order for the prospective teacher to prayerfully
consider all that has been presented. Within that time, the prospective
teacher, the pastor, the deacons, and those involved should pray about the
matter. The prospective teacher should then contact the pastor within that
time period to render his or her decision.
Selecting and enlisting teachers by this manner will help to ensure that all
teachers will have a clear vision of both the "short" and "long" range goals of
the church. This will also help maintain that only the doctrinal beliefs of the
church will be taught. The qualifications and expectations of the teacher will
be clearly understood by all involved, and ultimately this will provide for a
more healthy, spiritual church.
Choosing Teaching Materials
An area of concern which must be considered by the local church is that of
choosing appropriate teaching materials. Regardless if the materials to be
considered are for Sunday school, youth programs, adult programs, or
vacation Bible school, all materials selected should be carefully scrutinized to
determine whether or not the doctrinal beliefs of the local church are
reflected. There are many good companies that produce and publish Bible
study materials, but there is NO substitute for the Word of God!
The following "Statement of Faith" reflects the doctrinal position of the
Baptist beliefs. It is essential that ALL teachers read, understand, and teach
only the beliefs contained in this statement. Any variation from the doctrinal
positions contained in this statement would constitute a breech in the church
covenant and create confusion in the teaching program. It is essential that
ALL teachers within the local church hold to the same doctrines and beliefs
contained in the Word of God. God is not the author of confusion, and neither
should the teacher be.
Faith & Doctrine of the Baptist Church
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the
verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant
in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:
20-21; Matt. 5:18; Jn. 16:12-13)
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three Persons - Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit - co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in
power and glory, and having the same attribute and perfections (Deut. 6:4; 2
The Person & Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man,
without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Ghost and born
of the virgin, Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men
(Jn. 1:1-2, 14; Lk. 1:35).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through
His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary
sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical
resurrection from the dead (Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3, 5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted
at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest He fulfills the ministry of
Intercessor and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:1-
The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who reproves the world of sin,
righteousness, and judgment; and that He is the supernatural agent in
regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and
sealing them unto the day of redemption (Jn. 16:8-11; 2 Cor. 3:6; 1 Cor. 12:
12-14; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-14).
We believe that He is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truths;
and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit
(Jn. 16:13; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27; Eph. 5:18).
The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that
in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated
from God; and that man is totally depraved, and of himself, utterly unable to
remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and
received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was
shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 2:8-10; Jn. 1:12; Eph. 1:
7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
The Eternal Security of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and
are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn. 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1
Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:5).
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of
their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly
forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for willful sin (Rom. 13:13-
14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11, 15).
The Two Natures of the Believer
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision
made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of
the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old
nature in this life are unscriptural (Rom. 6:13; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:
22-24; Col. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 Jn. 3:5-9).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring
reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and that separation from all religious
apostacy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is
commanded of God (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Jn. 9-
11; 2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1).
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word
to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all
mankind (Mk. 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19-20).
The Ministry & Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and that
the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting
of the saints (1 Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12).
We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with
His own will, for the sick and afflicted (Jn. 15:7; 1 Jn. 5:14-15).
The Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of immersed
believers (1 Cor. 1:1-13; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:21-23; 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:
23; 3 Jn. 9).
We believe that it is associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the
gospel: (Acts 2:41-42) - "Then they gladly received his word and were
baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
(2 Cor. 8:5) - "They first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by
the will of God." (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-13)
We believe that the church should observe the ordinances of Christ: (1 Cor.
11:2) - "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and
keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you."
(2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-34; Matt. 18:15-20; 2 Cor. 2:17; 1
We believe that it should be governed by His laws:
(Matt. 28:20) - "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you." (Jn. 14:15; 15:12; 1 Jn. 4:21; Jn. 14:21; 1 Thess. 4:2; 2 Jn.
6; Gal. 6:2; All of the Epistles)
We believe that the church should exercise the gifts, rights, and privileges
invested in them by His Word:
(Eph. 4:17) - "Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of
the gift of Christ."
(1 Cor. 14:12) - "Seek that you may excel to the edifying of the Church."
(Phil. 1:27) - "That I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit,
with one mind striving together of the faith of the gospel."
We believe that its Scripturally designated officers are pastors (elders) and
deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the
Scriptures (Phil. 1:1) - With bishops and deacons (Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Tim. 3;
We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission;
First, to make individual disciples; Secondly, to baptize them; Thirdly, to
teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of
this order (Matt. 28:19-20).
We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free
from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that
the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit (Col. 1:18;
Eph. 5:23-24; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
We believe that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other
in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every
church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-
operation (Acts 15:22; Jude 3-4; 2 Cor. 8:23-24; 1 Cor. 16:1; Mal. 3:10; Lev.
27:32; 1 Cor. 16:2).
We believe that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of
discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final (1 Cor. 6:1-3; 1
We believe that the ordinances of the church are baptism unto the name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and the Lord’s Supper; the
Scriptural order being first, baptism, the second, the Lord’s Supper. No
person is qualified to have a part in either of these ordinances unless he/she
has professed faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41, 46-47; 16:33; 1
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall
of man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he
shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17;
Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in that "Blessed Hope", the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation
and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones;
followed by His return to the earth with His saints to establish His Millennial
Kingdom (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1ff; 1 Thess. 1:
10; 5:9; Rev. 3:20).
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and
the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; Jn. 5:28-
29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body
and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first
resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever
with the Lord (Lk. 23:43; Rev. 20:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious
misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they
shall be appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into
the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious
punishment (Lk. 16:19-26; Matt. 25:41-46; 1 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mk. 9:43-
48; Rev. 20:11-15).
The Order of Things to Come
We believe the Word of God teaches the following, yet remains to be
unfolded, from God’s master plan of the ages:
The bodily, personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ for His
saints (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
he resurrection of the righteous dead (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:52).
Catching away of all righteous, dead and living (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
The Judgment Seat of Christ for believers in Heaven (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:
13-15; 2 Cor. 5:10-11).
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-10).
The Tribulation Period on Earth (simultaneous to the Judgment Seat and
Marriage Supper in Heaven).
Manifestation of Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:8-12).
Approximately seven (7) years in length (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 4-19; Dan. 12:11-
12; Mk. 13:14-23; Ps. 2:4-5).
The return of Christ, visibly and bodily with His Church to close the
Tribulation Period on Earth - The Revelation of Christ (Acts 1:11; Heb. 9:28;
Rev. 1:7; 19:11-16).
To judge the living nations (Matt. 25:31-46).
To set up His Millennial reign (Isa. 32:1; 11:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:25; Rev. 20:46).
The Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth - 1,000 years (Rev. 20:3).
Loosing of Satan for a season - Close of Millennial Reign (Rev. 20:3; 7-9).
The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11).
Resurrection of wicked dead at this time as well as gathering of all, both
living and dead, who have never been born-again- who have rejected Christ
Casting of Satan, his angels, and wicked into Hell (Rev. 20:10; 15).
Renovation of Heaven and Earth and its resultant creation of new Heaven and
new Earth (2 Pet. 3:12-13; Rev. 21; 22:7).
Eternal Reign (Rev. 21:22; 1 Cor. 15:28).
While there is nothing wrong with using Sunday school quarterlies and youth
oriented study booklets and guides, NO teacher should use these materials to
instruct his or her class. TEACHERS SHOULD USE ONLY THE WORD OF
GOD TO INSTRUCT STUDENTS! This cannot be overemphasized. It is vital
that students understand that the Word of God ONLY is inspired (God
breathed), inerrant (without error), infallible (without faults), and immutable
(never changing). The problem with commentaries is that they are COMMON
- they are written by men and not inspired of God. They represent the
interpretations and ideas of mere men. One must be very careful in selecting
commentaries. While they are very beneficial to the student of the Word,
many of them present false doctrines which should be avoided. One of the
best and most reliable commentaries to own is the one volume, whole Bible
commentary entitled, The Believer’s Bible Commentary, written by William
MacDonald and published by Thomas Nelson Publishers; (Nashville, Tenn.);
copyright 1990. This commentary provides clear, well-written, and concise
help in understanding the entire Bible.
Another important consideration in choosing materials is what version of the
Bible they use. Unfortunately, many materials are written and published in
versions other than the Authorized 1611 King James Version of the Bible.
Today there are more "perversions" than useful versions of the Bible. One
can find many different versions on the bookshelves of Bible bookstores. It is
the belief of this author that the most dependable version of the Bible is still
the Authorized 1611 King James Version. While some of the other versions
have proven to helpful in private Bible study, no version has proven to be
more dependable than the King James Version. The greatest argument of all
for using only the K.J.V. is the utter confusion that occurs when several
different versions are used in the same service. It is essential that everyone
have the same translation of the Word of God during corporate worship and
teaching. To attempt to teach a group using different versions of the Bible
would be like trying to conduct an orchestra with all of the musicians playing
different arrangements of music! The King James Version is the best whole
Bible translation. It has withstood the test of time, and it is well proven to be
reliable. While many attempt to reason that other versions are easier to read,
let us consider that the KJV is written on a 4th grade level. The NIV is
written on a 6th grade level because of the "multi-syllable" words contained
in it. Suffice it to say that we should use the same version of the Bible in
Preparing the Teaching Program
Preparing the Teachers
Every year a teachers and workers seminar should be conducted for all
teachers and workers involved in the teaching programs of the church, as well
as those interested in becoming teachers or workers. This will serve beneficial
for several reasons. First, it will refresh everyone with the overall goals of the
local church. Secondly, it will serve to train new teachers who have not had
the experiences afforded by some teachers.
Thirdly, it will serve to clearly outline the responsibilities and expectations of
the teacher. Fourthly, it will enable each teacher to discuss problem areas
which they have encountered, and it will alert the leadership of areas in need
of reinforcement. Fifthly, it will enable more experienced teachers to share
their experiences with those without their benefit. Sixthly, it will enable all
teachers to develop the gift of teaching bestowed upon them by God.
The pastor and selected teachers will present instruction and guidance in the
Proper Motivation for Teaching
Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Preparation to Teach
Praying for Pupils
Attending the Monthly Teachers’ Meetings
Visitation of Class Members
Contact of Class Members
Be a Pastor to Your Pupils
Supporting Entire Church Program
Attending ALL Services Regularly
Contact Leadership If You Must Be Absent from Teaching Class
Encourage Class Participation
Organization of Classroom
Preparing the Lesson
Don’t Be Rushed Before Teaching
Review Lesson Before Teaching
Make Room Attractive as Possible
Greet Class as They Enter Room
Introduce Yourself to Visitors
Properly Introduce Visitors & Make Them Feel Welcome
Encourage Class Members to Invite & Bring Guests
Spend Only a Couple of Minutes on Class Business Before Teaching
Encourage Visitors to Complete Visitors’ Cards
DO NOT Make Anyone Read Aloud or Talk
Attempt to Have an Attention Getter (Ice-Breaker) for Each Lesson
TEACH ONLY FROM AN OPEN K.J.V. BIBLE - Leave Quarterly at Home!
Have an Outline or Written Aim for the Lesson
Stay on Subject - Do Not Chase Rabbit Trails
Communicate to the Age of Your Pupils
Teach Until the Bell Rings or the Time Allotted!
Sunday School Teachers Should Take Their Young Pupils to Worship Service
Sunday School Teachers Should Attempt to Sit With Any Young Lost Pupils
During Worship Service (If Appropriate)
Teachers Should Be EXAMPLES to Their Students
Help ALL Pupils to Understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
MAKE GOD’S WORK THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN YOUR LIFE!
Preparing a Lesson
There are many considerations when preparing a lesson to teach. First, the
teacher must consider the "aim" of the lesson. There should always be a
important reason for teaching any lesson from the Word of God. We are told
in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished
unto all good works." We know that all Scripture is profitable, however, the
teacher must consider several things before teaching a lesson.
First, the teacher should spend time in prayer. Without prayer, anything that
will be done will be done in the flesh rather than the Spirit. It is vital that
teachers consult the Lord before they consult the commentary or quarterly.
Ask God what He would have you to teach. Be sensitive to His leading. He
always knows just what is needed.
Secondly, the teacher should consider the need for the lesson. There should
always be a clear, well-defined aim to be accomplished when teaching a lesson,
otherwise, after the lesson has been taught the pupils will be left with the
question, "What’s your point?" Sadly, many teachers do not consider this
important aspect in their preparation. It is good for a teacher to jot down on a
piece of paper the purpose or purposes to be accomplished by the lesson. Have
a clear, written aim for the lesson.
Thirdly, the teacher must consider the maturity level of the group to be
taught. There is no use teaching on a topic or subject if the class cannot
comprehend. Maturity, not age, should be considered because some believers
are more mature than their age might reflect. On the other hand, some older
believers may not be as mature as they should be. Paul dealt with this
problem in his own teaching as he wrote to the Corinthians: "And I,
brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even
as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for
hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (1 Cor. 3:1-
2). There were believers who could not comprehend the "strong meat" of the
Word of God because they were still "babes" (spiritual infants), therefore,
Paul was forced to give them the "milk of the Word". Ask yourself, "Are the
pupils in my class mature enough to comprehend this lesson?"
Fourthly, read the passage of Scripture that will be taught several times. Pray
that God will help you to better understand it. Determine the context of the
passage. Whenever one attempts to understand any particular passage or
verse, remember - CONTEXT IS KING! This is an important aspect of
studying the Word of God. One reason that so many people misunderstand
and misinterpret the Word of God is because they do not attempt to
understand the context in which it was written. Much light will be shed upon a
verse or passage when the context is understood. Many heresies are taught
because people "rip" out a verse of scripture and apply it incorrectly without
consideration as to the context of the verse.
Fifthly, after the teacher has read, prayed, and determined the context, the
next step is to determine what the Lord would have you to learn from this
passage or verse. This will help to determine the aim of the lesson. God must
speak to your heart before you as a teacher can speak to others. When God
ministers to you personally, you will then be prepared to communicate the
same principles to others. This is the greatest blessing of being a teacher. So
often God will bless you in your personal study much more than you will be
able to communicate to others!
Sixthly, once you have a firm grasp of the passage or verse, it is time to
prepare to teach the lesson to others. There are four basic things to
incorporate in any lesson:
Give Truth - Read a passage or verse of Scripture - God’s Word Is Truth
(John 17:17). Always teach from an open Bible - not a quarterly.
Expound Truth - Expound (explain) upon the passage or verse. This is the
essence of teaching! The simpler that you can make understanding the
Scripture the better. Too often teachers are guilty of making a passage more
complicated than it is.
Illustrate Truth - Illustrations are beneficial to help the pupils understand
the wonderful truths of God’s Word. This can be done many ways. Use
experiences, stories of others, or by compare Scripture with Scripture using
illustrations contained in the Word of God. These illustrations will always
make understanding the Bible easier for your students.
Apply Truth - This is one of the most important aspects of teaching. If the
teacher fails to Apply Truth, then the teacher has failed to communicate the
importance or aim of the lesson. The application of the lesson will enable the
pupil to understand how God’s Word is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Every teacher should attempt to convey the aim taught so that all students
will comprehend the significance of the verse in their own lives. The Word of
God is like no other book ever written. "For the Word of God is quick (alive),
and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the
dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
Seventh, after having prepared the lesson, review it to ensure that you have
effectively considered all of the points above. Remember to include an
"attention-getter" or "ice-breaker" to capture the attention and interest of
the class. When satisfied, go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you to
teach the lesson. It is the Lord who will enable you by the Holy Spirit to be a
good communicator to others. Remember to review the lesson the morning or
evening before you teach in order to refresh your memory.
Promoting the Teaching Program
The Teaching Program must be properly planned, prepared, and promoted.
Every Sunday school teacher, youth ministry worker, or helper should be
involved in each of these phases. To ensure that everyone has the same vision
and goals it is helpful to meet regularly to discuss the program. A monthly
meeting is suggested to enable such discussion to take place. While this does
require sacrifice from all of involved, it serves to help the overall success of
the program. Coordination is vital!
The agenda of the meeting should include and address various aspects of the
teaching program. The meeting provide the opportunity for each teacher and
worker to praise God for the victories and blessings enjoyed during the past
month; it will provide a time for discussion of any new ideas; and it will
enable each person involved to address any problem areas that might need
immediate attention. This meeting should be a time of blessing. It should be a
time when teachers come together to encourage and help one another. It
should be a time of commitment and praise. It is somewhat of a "Spiritual
Promoting the program is essential for growth. The most effective method of
promoting a program is by the class members themselves. Encourage your
class members to invite friends, relatives, and neighbors. Be sure to recognize
and welcome any visitors, and let them know that their presence is important
to the class. Make them feel at home. Be sure that each class member
understands that wherever they are, they "represent" the Lord Jesus Christ,
the local church, and the class to which they are a part.
There are many different promotions for teaching programs. However, no
promotion is as important as the sound, fundamental teaching of God’s Word.
Never compromise your teaching in order to promote your class. People need
the Word of God more than anything else in their lives. If people hear sound
teaching from the Word of God, then the choice is theirs to receive or reject
Christ! As much as one might want, no preacher or teacher can do the work
of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility to God and to the world is to "rightly
divide the Word of God", and to "Sow the Seed". It is "God who gives the
increase" (1 Cor. 3:5-8). Souls will never be saved unless they hear the Word
(Rom. 10:17), are drawn by the Holy Spirit (John 6:44), and exercise FAITH
in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation (Rom. 10:9-10; 6:
17). Let us pray that we will be found faithful to do our part.