When I am teaching a Bible study or preaching a sermon, I keep three things in mind. They help to guide me during my preparation, study and delivering the message.
AIM #1: That people will leave saying, “That’s exactly what the Bible says.”
Since I don’t believe that I can say anything better than God says it, my prayer is that after I deliver a sermon or Bible study, people will leave saying, “That is exactly what the Bible says.” I don’t want them to leave just knowing my opinion or thoughts on the subject. I want them to leave knowing what God thinks. The Bible is the Word of God.
During the message, I believe it is important for everyone to interact with the Scriptures. Whether it be a paper Bible or a digital version, I believe it is important for those who are listening to look for themselves at the Scriptures and see that the truths shared by the teacher are straight from the Bible. I make a point to emphasize important words in the text that explain its meaning.
AIM #2: People will know how to apply the message to their lives.
Second, because I believe the Bible is incredibly relevant to our lives today, it is not enough for me to just teach a history lesson or a cultural lesson from the past. It is not enough just to teach what happened to Moses, Ruth, David, Jesus or the first disciples. The Bible is a living document, and the timeless truths of Scripture are just as applicable to our lives today as they were when they were first written down.
Sometimes the truths are very obvious, and we know how to apply them. Sometimes they need a little (or a lot of) explanation, and that is where Bible teachers come in to help. I seek to explain the Scriptures in such a way during the message so that people can see how to apply them to their lives this week! Now, people may choose not to obey the Bible. That is between them and God. My prayer is that they will choose to live in accordance to the Scriptures. I realize that my role as a Bible teacher is to help them to understand the Bible and know how to put it into practice in their everyday life. I pray they choose the path of faith and obedience.
AIM #3: Don’t be boring.
The Bible is not boring. It is an incredibly exciting book, filled with action, dialogue, thought-provoking wisdom, and much, much more. So if my message is boring, it’s not God’s fault; it’s my fault. Rather than being boring, I seek to connect with those who are listening by sharing real-life examples, stories, humor, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and more. I move around on the stage a bit. I use hand gestures. Sometimes I speak loudly, sometimes quietly. That’s just me.
God is still growing me as a communicator. I want to be a lifelong learner. What about you? If you are a teacher of the Bible (to small groups or large audiences), what are some of the most important things that you keep in mind?
Keep growing and keep learning!