Ministry of Teaching

 Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry


Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways


Chapter One



1. The ministry of teaching can be described in this way:


A Bible based, Holy Spirit empowered, Christ centered, teaching process that seeks to guide people to maturity.  This is to lead individuals toward knowing and experiencing God's purpose through Christ in every area of living, and to equip them for effective ministry.


A. The Goal:  develop spiritual maturity


B. The Means:

1. Bible based

2. Christ centered

3. Holy Spirit empowered


C. The Purpose:   to make disciples of all nations, and to teach them to observe all that Christ commands -- Matt 28:19-20

We do not help people to grow by forcing them to behave in a certain way, but by teaching the truth.


2. What do we teach?

A. Biblical teaching (doctrine); truly knowing what we believe


B. Christian living as an everyday experience.


C. Growth of the family - learning to have a Christian home.


D. The development of our children - preparing them to live in a fallen world.


E. The encouragement and ability to touch others for Christ and to impart life.



Chapter Two

Ministry of Teaching in the Bible


1. Jesus

During Christ's ministry, He was primarily known as a teacher.  When Jesus was addressed publicly, it was almost always as "Rabbi" (teacher).  His reputation in this area was very clear (Matt 7:28-29).  At the end of His earthly ministry, Christ gave clear instructions to His followers to continue with the teaching ministry (Mat 28:19-20).


2. The Apostles

Following Jesus' great example the apostles continued in the tradition of teaching and writing to share the great news of the Gospel and doctrines of God.  See Matt 28:19-20.


3. Paul

In his apostolic work, Paul was also a teacher (1 Tim 2:72 Tim 1:11).   He also encouraged Timothy in this ministry:


A. Teaching is necessary for soundness in faith

-- 1 Tim 4:11& 16, 6:3-5;    2 Tim 4:3


B. The ability to teach is a requirement of pastors and other spiritual leaders. -- 1 Tim 3:1-2, 4:13;  2 Tim 2:24


C. Teaching must be done along with Bible reading, exhortation, and preaching. -- 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 4:2-4


D. Teaching is important in order for a ministry to last. - 2 Tim 2:2


4. Five-fold Ministry – Eph 4:11-16

Teaching is one of the five functions mentioned in this passage, but it is clear that it is also meant to be part of the ministries of all the others.  Evangelists, apostles, prophets, and pastors are called to train other people  in those ministries, so that every member of the body of Christ can be equipped for service.  They all must teach.



Read the following scriptures.  Write down all you learn about teaching:
. Deut 6:6-9;  Mat 4:23;  Mat 28:19-20;  2 Tim 2:2;  James 3:1



Chapter Three

Developing People


Christian teaching is not only about giving information, but developing people


1. Principles for developing people

A. Relationship

1. Love, caring


2. Time

It takes time to develop people.  It is a big commitment, which a teacher should take very seriously.  It goes beyond simply spending time with people in a classroom.


B. Teaching content

1. Bible-based – teach Word of God in its fullness – Col 1:25


2. Teach about things that are relevant – things that matter to the students

Good teachers study their students as well as the material


3. Teach in a way that students will grasp the idea

a. Motivate – why is this good to know?  Why should I do this?

b. Appeal to emotions


C. Example

Be ye followers of me, as I am also of Christ – 1 Cor 11:1


D. Involve the learners

1. Do not allow them to just be passive while you do all the work.  Challenge them to be active in the process.


2. Ask them questions, and encourage them to ask questions


3. Give assignments


E. Give them opportunities to practice what they are learning when possible


F. Focus on spiritual growth over getting all the material

1. Mentoring

This is where you spend extra time with a small group of students, helping them to develop.  We will discuss this more later.


2. Plan for spiritual growth

Both in the classroom and outside, plan how you will help people to develop spiritually.  Plan ahead even for casual teaching opportunities.  Develop the skill of asking leading questions which introduce different topics you would like to teach about.


3. Less information is better if it is retained and applied.

Your students do not need to know everything that you know about the subject.  This is important!  Plan your teaching in such a way that you can limit what you say.


4. Understand growth is a process

People will not mature overnight.  It takes time.


5. Have goals

Know what you expect to happen in the lives of students.  How will you know if you are succeeding or not?


6. Focus on application.

Bring learners to a point of decision about how they are going to respond to the truths they have learned.


2. Mentoring

In the process of mentoring, you pour your life into the life of another person, or a few others.  You spend time together, both in ministry and in common life.  They learn from the way you live in your family, how you relate to different people, how you minister, etc…  It also includes planned times of teaching and training.


A. Paul & Timothy – 2 Tim 2:2;  3:10-17


B. Few people

Jesus ministered to the multitudes, but he mentored (or discipled) the twelve, and gave even more attention to the three.


C. Based on Relationships

1. In mentoring you respect and enjoy the person you are helping.  You learn from them in humility and teach them by example.  You practice the skill of listening.


2. Some of your most effective teaching can be done during informal times of discussing issues.  Always be aware of teaching moments which the Lord provides, and take advantage of them.


D. Transparency (again, 2 Tim 3:10-17)

Mentoring involves having your life on display for the benefit of another.  This includes being open about your failures, insecurities, weaknesses, and so on.


E. Ask personal questions:

In order to help people on a deep, mentoring level, you should have the freedom to ask them questions concerning their personal life.  Note that you first must demonstrate transparency before you can demand it of another.  Possible areas to question include:


1. Children

2. Marriage

3. If single, friendships with others

4. Work

5. Devotional life – prayer, Bible, fasting, worship,…

a. What is God has shown you recently?

b. Sin revealed?  What do you need work on?

c. Are you feeling dry?  Close to God?

6. Ministry – successes, failures,…

7. Feelings, emotions

8. Motives

9. Money issues

10. Rest

11. Relationships – friends, extended family,…

12. Other


F. Minister together, and then discuss – "debrief"

1. How did it seem to you?  How do you feel about it?

2. Give positive feedback and suggestions for improvement

3. Make it a teaching opportunity



Chapter Four

The Christian Teacher


1. The Privilege of the Teacher 

A. We learn more as we teach

As we prepare to teach, we become students of the very lessons we will teach.  Often we do not understand a truth until we must present it to someone else.  This is a tremendous benefit to the privilege of teaching.


B. We invest in the lives of others

We as teachers are given the joyful task of investing our lives into the lives of others.  Teachers have the opportunity to have a lot of influence.  We can use this influence to help others to come into a greater walk with Christ.



2. A Christian Teacher Respects the Students

A. Value their knowledge, wisdom, experience,…


B. Respect their views, even if different from yours


C. Do not talk down to them, or act as though you are better


D. Respect their time

1. Begin and end on time


2. If your class begins with prayer or praise and worship, you should be there for that and join in.  Do not just enter when it is your time to teach.  Show that the students' time is just as valuable as yours.


3. Enthusiasm

Sometimes in teaching you will not feel enthusiastic.  You may be tired, or unprepared, or just not wanting to teach at that moment.  However, it is important to always show enthusiasm for the sake of the students.  It is very difficult to learn when the teacher himself does not seem to care.  How do you show enthusiasm as you teach?


A. Voice – Put expression in your voice.


B. Posture – stand straight, and do not lean on anything.

If you show that you are tired, this takes away your enthusiasm, and it is more difficult for the student to be enthusiastic.


C. Facial expression – Smile!  Show that you are enjoying the lesson, and enjoying the students.


D. Greet students warmly one by one when you can


4. Values of the Teacher

As we enter the ministry of teaching, we discover that different teachers have different values regarding teaching.  What are some of your convictions about how teaching should be?  As we look at some of the questions in this section, think about the kind of teacher you want to be.



Write answers to the following questions.  Discuss as a class when you finish.

1.. What are some qualities someone should have to be a good teacher?







2..  In order for true learning to happen, what is the teacher responsible for?  What is the learner responsible for?









3..  Is teaching a skill or a spiritual gift?  How does your answer effect your own ministry as a teacher?









3. The Preparation of the Teacher

A. A Personal Faith

It would seem to be obvious that the Christian teacher must be a committed follower of Jesus, but this truly is the all important element in the preparation process for any teacher of the Word.


B. A Growing Christian Life

The Christian teacher must experience an ever-growing relationship with Christ.  Daily prayer, Bible reading, and recognition of the presence of God in all aspects of life are very important in the life of a teacher.


Paul's demonstration of a Spirit-filled, Christ-centered life was a clear testimony to the Thessalonian church.  He was able to refer to his daily behavior when he wrote (1 Thess 1:4-5).  Paul's lifestyle and mature behavior became a model for the church.  The converts then reproduced that behavior and became models for those they met.  Christian teachers today must have the same concern and watch their walk to insure that it matches their talk.


C. A Positive Attitude

Read Phil 4:8.  Man, by virtue of his fallen nature, is bent in the opposite direction of all that God intends and desires.  Jealousy competes with love, sadness with joy, fear with peace, criticism with praise, impure with pure, and wrong with right.  The old nature is continually at war with the new nature, and only those teachers who maintain a close relationship with the Lord can weather the storm and be enthusiastically positive in their approach.


D. Knowledge of the Bible

Biblical knowledge for the Christian teacher is another important quality.  This will become very clear as students begin to question the things taught to them from the Word.  The Holy Spirit will often only bring to mind that which we as teachers have placed in our minds for Him to use.  As we open our mouths to teach, the Lord will fill it, but only from the resources that we have studied and memorized in our preparation time.


E. Teaching skill

Teaching is a skill which should be developed and improved throughout your lifetime.


1. Teaching is a talent (or ability) that some people are born with.  Some people are good teachers by nature.  However, this talent must be developed.


2. Teaching is also a spiritual gift.  The Holy Spirit manifests Himself through the teacher and brings life and power.

a. As a gift, it still must be developed and used with skill.


b. Some people move consistently in this gift.  However, every person who stands to teach should seek the spiritual gift of teaching.  Remember, people in all kinds of ministries are called upon to teach (as we saw in Eph 4:11-16).  God wants to empower pastors and evangelists and others as they teach.


F. Discipline

A teacher must be a disciplined person who can make wise decisions, set priorities, and balance his duties and desires.  Tired people make many errors in judgment and they lose their ability to communicate well.  Lack of preparation can also cause serious problems in gaining maximum results.  Students can tell very quickly if a teacher is unprepared, tired, irritable or just not ready physically or mentally to teach.



Discussion Groups:

Discuss together these questions regarding a teacher's values:

·      Is it important for the teacher to know the needs of the learner (what does the learner expect to gain from the teaching)?  If so, how is he to come to know?

·      Describe the relationship a teacher should have with a learner.

·      Where does teaching happen?

·      What is the goal of Christian teaching?

·      How is teaching related to evangelism?



Chapter Five

Preparing Lessons


1. Set goals

What do you want to accomplish?  You may have goals in each of the following four areas:


A. Knowing – what information do they need to know from this lesson?  This touches the head.


B. Feeling – how do you want this lesson to touch their emotions?

It is often a person's emotions that lead him to make a change.  Therefore it is important to consider this area.  Touch the heart.


C. Discerning – what do you want them to learn about themselves?

Help them to compare what they learn with their own lives.  How do they measure up to the truth they are learning?


D. Doing – what should they do about what they know, how they feel, and what they discern in themselves?


2. Write Lesson Aims

A lesson aim is a brief statement that describes your goals for the teaching.  You can have lesson aims in each of the above categories.  Consider the following example of lesson aims for a teaching based on the Great Commission – Matt 28:19-20


Knowing Aim:

. The student will understand the various aspect of the Great Commission, and be able to quote from memory Mat 28:19-20.


Feeling Aim:

. The student will feel God's heart and passion to reach people who are lost, and thus be motivated to do something about it.


Discerning Aim:

. The student will think back on his life over the past month, and see what he has done to obey the Great Commission.  He will consider areas in which he has done well, and those in which he has not.


Doing Aim:

. The student will make a commitment to seek the Lord about how he can be more involved in fulfilling the Great Commission.  He will develop a specific action plan of how he will improve in the area of making disciples over the next six months.


Here is another example, based on a lesson in giving:


Knowing Aim:

. The student will know three reason why it is good to give.

Feeling Aim:

. The student will be inspired to give more as he considers what God has given to him.

Discerning Aim:

. The student will evaluate his own giving and decide if he has been giving as the Bible teaches he should.

Doing Aim:

. The student will pray about how God wants him to give, and will make a commitment to give a certain amount each month.


Class Discussion:

Do you see the difference in the various types of aims?  Have several students explain this in their own words.  Do not continue until all feel comfortable with this,


Assignment:  Develop lesson aims for a teaching based on Ezra 7:10.  Do not plan the entire lesson, but just write the goals for that lesson.  See the example above.


Knowing Aim:




Feeling Aim:




Discerning Aim:




Doing Aim:





3. Why Lesson Aims?

A. They help us to focus our teaching

Many times we try to cover so much material when teaching a lesson that we do not really know what we expect the student to get from it.  Having a lesson aim will help us to get rid of anything that does not directly help to accomplish our goals.


B. They help us to know if we are being effective

Once you have your goals clearly stated, you can find ways to determine whether or not they are being met.  This will help you to always improve, and to know what you need to go back and teach again in another way.


C. They remind us why we are teaching

We are teaching in order to produce something in our students, and lesson aims can help us to keep on the right track.


Assignment:  Develop lesson aims for a teaching based on prayer.  Do not plan the entire lesson, but just write the goals for that lesson.  Remember that this is one lesson.  Prayer is a very big topic, but you will choose only one main thing to teach about prayer, and write the goals for that lesson.


Knowing Aim:




Feeling Aim:




Discerning Aim:




Doing Aim:





4. Parts of a lesson

There are some things you should try to do in each lesson that you teach.  If you can discipline yourself to include each of the following items in every lesson that you teach, you will be more effective.


A. Hook

This is the introduction.  It should get the attention of the students, and answer the question, "why should I listen?"


B. Give Information

This is the part of the lesson where you give information.  It will usually be the longest part.  In the BSM program, this is where you go over the outlines point by point.  It answers the questions, "what does it say?  What does it mean?"


C. Make it Personal

1. During this section, you encourage the students to relate the truths they have learned from the Information segment to their own lives.  They compare themselves with what the Word teaches they should be.


2. You help them to discover what the truth means to their personal lives.


3. As they look at their own life, they become motivated to do something about the teaching.


4. It answers the question, "what does it mean to me?"


D. Apply

1. This is where the student is called upon to apply the truth to his life and ministry.


2. Leads the student to specific actions or changes that he will apply in the coming days and weeks.


3. Answers the question, "what will I do now?"


Example:  Look again at the example above in which we stated lesson aims for a teaching on the Great Commission.  We can also plan out how we will cover each of these four items in that teaching:




. I will give a testimony of the time I went on a mission to Northern Uganda, and what the Lord did there.  This will get people interested in what I am going to share.


. I will teach about the Great Commission – what it means, how the first disciples began to fulfill it, and how the church today is also expected to play a part.

Make it Personal:

. I will lead the students to looking at their own lives, and seeing if they have been living in obedience to the Great Commission.


. I will challenge the students to make a commitment and plan how they will be involved in the Great Commission over the next six months.


Assignment:  Look again at the lesson aims you developed for a teaching based on Ezra 7:10.  Now plan how you will pass through each of the four stages in this lesson.










Make it Personal:









5. Presentation

Spend time preparing not only content, but also presentation – not only the information you are going to teach, but how you are going to teach it


6. Learning styles

How do you like to learn?  If there is something you want to learn about (how to drive a motorcycle, the meaning of the book of Romans, how to baptize, how to play an instrument, the words to a new song, a new language,…)  How would you prefer to go about learning it?


There are different ways of learning, and people tend to do better with certain methods.  One person may learn very well under a certain type of teaching, while another struggles.  We each have our own learning style.  Following is a description of common learning styles that different people may have:


A. Group Learner

Some people learn best by being with other people.  They like to have discussions and do small group activities.  They want to have the chance to talk and say what they think, and they want to ask questions. 


B. Classroom Learner

This person likes to listen to lectures and take notes.  He learns best when there is an organized and steady routine.  He does well when the teacher is very organized, and teaches point by point.  This person normally performs well on written tests.


C. Practical Learner

This person learns best by doing.  He wants to see how the lesson works in the real world.  He likes to work on his own and figure things out.  He does well with independent assignments.  He also likes to learn by being given examples of real situations.  He learns well when you describe a problem, and ask what he would do if he were in such a situation.


D. Active Learner

This person likes variety.  He does well with all the above types of learning, as long as you do not use just one.  He can become bored when you use one method for too long.  He likes to be actively involved in the learning... doing assignments, having discussions, asking questions, etc. 


There are many ways people differ in how they prefer to learn.  The following are some examples:

A. Group vs individual

B. Structured vs free

C. Asking questions vs trying to figure out on your own

D. Point by point vs circular

E. Wanting to learn what works practically vs liking to understand the reason behind how it works

F. Solving problems vs being given the answer

G. Learn by doing vs being told what to do

H. Learn 'on the job' vs getting all the info ahead of time

I. Routine vs variety


You can be aware of these different styles as you plan the learning cycle – try to at least touch on the different ways of teaching in each lesson.  Our goal is for each student to gain as much as possible from every lesson.  In order to accomplish this, we must consider how different people learn.


7. Learning Activities

A learning activity is anything you do to help someone learn.  It can also be called a method.  The lecture is the most commonly used learning activity in most of our teaching.  A lecture is when the teacher stands in front and talks to the students, giving them the information they need.  It is one way communication (teacher to student).  The students follow along in their books or write their own notes to remember what is being taught.


Class Discussion

Ø.      In addition to the lecture, what are some other learning activities we could use?

Ø.      Which of these activities do you prefer as a student?

Ø.      Which of these activities do you prefer when you are the teacher?

Ø.      Can understanding about the parts of a lesson and learning styles help you to develop some different kinds of learning activities?



Chapter Six



1. Handling questions

A. "I don't know" is a good answer

1. Knowing this, you do not have to fear questions.  It takes the pressure off of you.


2. If it is something you can research and find out, then do that.


3. If others in the class can answer better, let them (it is ok if students know more than you about some things)


4. If you do not know how to get an answer, just tell them.


5. You can give them an assignment of trying to find an answer, and reporting back next time


B. Pray for wisdom, believing God is giving it to you (Jam 1:5-8)

Again, it is ok if he gives it through someone else – it all comes from God anyway, so there is nothing to feel good about if you give a good answer, or bad about if someone else gives a better one.


C. Be humble

You may have what you think is a very good answer, but in fact it is not so good.  Allow people to disagree or correct you, so that you can also learn.  Say things like, "It may be like this" or "This is what I think, but others may think differently..."  There may not be a clear, "right" answer – so do not act as though there is, and that you have it.


D. Be biblical

For many questions, your job is to apply biblical truth to specific circumstances.  Be careful to not just say what sounds good to you, but to determine what the Bible actually teaches on the subject.


1. Is there a direct teaching in the Bible about it?


2. Did someone in the Bible face a similar situation?


3. What principles that are in the Bible may apply to this case?


E. Be a student of the subject yourself

Always be learning yourself, both in the class as you teach, and in other settings.  The more you learn about a subject, the better you will be at helping people with questions.


F. Be a learner

As you allow questions, it is an opportunity to gain insight into the lives and ministries of your students.  Questions can reveal the things that concern people, and can help you to come to know some of the things which they face.  This knowledge will make you a better teacher, as you seek to meet the needs which you are continually discovering in your students through their questions


G. Understand why we allow students to ask questions

Your goal is to help people, not to impress them.  Always keep that in mind.  Questions are a way that some people learn well, so we do it in order to help them to learn.


H. "Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you" is also a good answer

1. When someone is asking about a certain problem or situation in their ministry or life, sometimes just giving the answer is not the best way to help them, even if you are sure you have a good one.  You want to help them develop the skill of applying biblical truth to their own situations.  You do not want them to be dependent upon you or anyone else to know how to do things.  Trust the Holy Spirit in them.


2. Many times there is not one answer that fits every situation.  Sometimes in ministry one solution is best, and other times another one is better.


I. Try to avoid personal counseling during question time

People can be tricky, and they want you to give them counsel during times of questions, yet there is no way for you to get all of the necessary information during the time allowed.  So many times someone gives advice that they would not have given had they know the full situation.  Be willing to talk to them in detail after class if necessary.


J. Enjoy questions

This can be a fun time where you get to know the students more, and take a break from the 'lecture' part of the lesson, which can be difficult for some.


2. Principles of Teaching

There are basic principles that are involved in teaching well.  These are things that are true wherever you are teaching.  This discussion will include some of these principles.  There are more than these, and maybe you will be able to add some of your own.


A. Study God's Word

A good teacher needs to develop a love for the Bible, and the discipline to study it on a regular basis.


B. Be prepared

Do not say you will just trust the Holy Spirit to lead you.  He expects you to do your part in the work of preparing and teaching.  In order to be very effective, you need to spend time in study and preparation.


C. Power of the Spirit -- depend on the Holy Spirit to accomplish spiritual goals (1 Cor 2:10-15).

Christian teaching is a spiritual work.  In order for us to have true spiritual results, we need to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Our skills and abilities and preparation do not help at all if we are not ministering in spiritual power.


D. Example of the Teacher --  be what you expect your students to become (Rom 2:17-22; 1 Tim 4:11-12).

1. To know the truth -- this is more than just having a knowledge of the Word, but also having experienced the power of the Scriptures and the life of the Spirit.


2. To live the truth --  quality of teaching is directly related to the quality of the teacher.  Teaching always involves the impartation of life and not just doctrine or facts.  We teach much more by our walk than our talk.             


E. Relationship of Love --  John 15:9-12

Without question, the gift of loving others was demonstrated by Jesus who was the Master Teacher.  It has been said that if someone loves their teacher they can be taught anything and if they do not love their teacher they can be taught nothing. 


F. Appeal to the Heart --  gain an emotional response by the student (Lk 24:32).

The effective teacher will always include an appeal to the heart or emotion.  People will more often do what they want to as opposed to what they know they ought to do.  Teachers must therefore touch the heart of their students, and seek to help them to want to do what they know is right.  Emotions can provide the power to energize the will, and that is the pathway to meaningful action.


G. Response of the Will --  give sufficient opportunity for people to respond with a commitment or some decision of their will (John 7:17).

If truth is really learned, it must produce fruit in the life of the student.  The fruit may be:


1. of the mind -- the gaining of knowledge

2. emotional -- an attitude or feeling

3. of the will -- a decision to act.


The more complete the response, the more effective the learning.  It is the responsibility of the Christian teacher to guide students to the desired responses, which lead to Christian maturity. A total response requires that in the mind, there be understanding; emotionally, there be inspiration; and in the will there be commitment to act or change.  The content of the lesson may at times need to be made shorter in order to insure that there is plenty of time for the student to respond.  This is the key to the entire teaching process.  Failure here means failure in the class.


H. Living Demonstrators --  help the student to live the lesson in everyday life (James 1:22-25).

After truth is gained, appreciated, and accepted for action, the life should express it. Personal development is the goal.  The teacher desires that his students become true disciples, followers of Christ, acknowledging His lordship, conformed to His image.  Remember:


Class Discussion:

What does this scripture mean?

"But you must not be called 'Teacher,' because you have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters together."  – Mat 23:8 (NCV)



I. Make it clear that you are also a learner

1. The Holy Spirit is our teacher

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  --  John 14:26  (NIV)


2. We also teach one another.

Make it very clear that you intend to learn from the students.  Learning cannot happen only in one direction.  We all come together in order to learn from each other and from the Lord.


3. Never stop being a student


Action Steps:  Think back on the what you have learned about the ministry of teaching this week.  Write down 2-3 specific things you are going to do by God's grace to improve your own teaching.