One of the greatest needs in most churches is more and better teachers not only on a personal level but also in the classroom. For any Bible class program to succeed, good teachers are needed.
The teacher is the key to the success of any Bible class. Having a good teacher is far more important than having modern facilities and the latest teaching aids. While there may be extenuating circumstances, still, the ultimate success or failure of every class lies with the teacher.
But good teachers do not just "happen," they are made. No matter our present level, we must make ourselves into better teachers. We must take our responsibilities seriously. James warned in his book, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). He was not trying to discourage people from teaching. Rather, he wanted those who teach to recognize their great responsibility. Souls are at stake and they should be doing all they can within their means to do the best they can.
We must recognize the qualities of a good teacher and we must seek to develop and expand them in our lives. What are some qualities of a good teacher?
A good teacher is a Christian. By "Christian," we do not just mean someone who has been baptized. Rather, it is one who is all the word embodies. He should be a constant follower of Jesus Christ whose life is totally dedicated to serving God.
His speech, dress, habits and entire deportment should be above reproach. He will faithfully attend all the assemblies of the church for one who is not faithful himself cannot be expected to teach faithfulness to others (Rom. 2:21). He prays. He studies and meditates on God's word. He is constantly endeavoring to increase his knowledge of the Bible while at the same time striving to practice the things he is learning.
Really Wants to Teach
Some only teach because a class is thrust upon them. No one else would take it so they feel they have to teach it. But to do something well, one must want to do it.
A good teacher not only wants to teach but loves to teach. He is enthusiastic about his task. That enthusiasm will positively affect his students. He will instill within them a burning desire for greater knowledge of and greater appreciation for God's word.
Enthusiasm alone makes for a poor teacher. One must have some native ability upon which to draw.
Not everyone is capable of teaching a Bible class (1 Cor. 12:29), but if a person really wants to teach he will sincerely try to increase his ability.
He knows the truth. He has not only a general knowledge of the Bible but also a specific knowledge of that portion of it he is attempting to teach his class. He has diligently studied and prepared the lesson himself.
His emphasis in class will be on the Bible not on opinion, secular teachings, current events, etc. He will hold the Bible before his class. He will regard it as the authoritative word of God. He will emphasize its principles and teach it without apology or compromise (1 Thess. 2:2, 4).
Teaching is not an easy task. In order to be successful at it one must work long and hard and study diligently. A good teacher will do more than go over a lesson in a book. He will study the Bible using available helps such as commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, etc. No teacher should ask his class to put forth effort he is not willing to put forth himself.
If one is going to do a good job of teaching, he will sacrifice such things as time, money, recreation, etc. Consider the sacrifice of time. Well prepared and well presented lessons take time. There are no real shortcuts to doing a good job. He needs not only time for study but also for meditation and prayer.
Otherwise good teachers sometimes hinder their efforts by such things as absenteeism or being habitually late. Some fail to get substitutes when they will be away. Others will agree to teach a class then be gone more than they are present. 1 Corinthians 15:58 is a must description of the good teacher.
He loves others as himself and regards others before self (Phil. 2:3-4). It is very difficult, if not almost impossible, to properly teach those you do not like or love.
A good teacher will demand and receive the respect of all his students. To assure that respect, he will be confident and firm, yet courteous, kind and considerate. He will be calm, patient, self-controlled and not soon angry. He will be happy and cheerful not pessimistic, grouchy and arrogant. No overbearing, self-willed, quick-tempered or otherwise emotionally unstable person should be allowed to teach a class.
Are you a teacher? If so, are you a good one? All of us could be better teachers and Christians if we would apply these principles. Our students would be blessed, God would be glorified and we would be saved.