Truth and Mercy Institute of Advanced Ministry
COURSE: BACHELOR OF MINISTRY
ASSIGNMENT: TEACHING STRATEGIES
SUBMITED BY: GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME
TO: DR. DANNY ABALDO - DEAN
DATE: 04 September 2017
And the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. They, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and quite a few of honorable Greek women and men. Acts 17:10-12.
I would like to open my presentation with these inspirational words from Elmer L. Towns, “teaching is not talking and learning is not listening”. Teaching is the tilling and dressing of the ground for sowing; the preparation and guidance of learning activities. No one is taught until they have learned and the only sign that they have learned is their active involvement in the learning process. The way the teacher studies determines how he will ultimately teach, that is for him to get his students involved in the learning of the Word of God, he must be the first one to get involved. If the teacher is actively involved then the students will have no difficulty following on in the footsteps of their mentor, just as the disciples of Jesus Christ did not have difficulty walking on His footsteps because He actively showed them how to walk the spiritual walk. The main role of the teacher is to open the student's eyes of understanding of what they are studying, that they may be enlightened by the revelation of the Word of God. We should also remember that the greatest teacher is the one who acknowledges and walks with the Holy Spirit. We are vessels by which the greatest teacher who knows all things, Holy Spirit reveals Himself to others (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is the one vested with power for creative and active teaching and therefore the ability and success of any Bible teacher revolves around how they relate with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher, but He is also a guide. Later that same evening Jesus added, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27).
This writing will discuss two important levels of teaching strategies which I have identified as preparation and presentation. The preparation level encompasses the teacher’s planning and general approach to teaching, as well as decisions about the content and organisation of a lesson. This also include the actual training and learning of the teacher often times called Bible Study. The Word of God say to study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. This means one should be diligent or make an effort or promptly and earnestly (spoudazō) exhibit or proffer (paristēmi paristanō) himself, properly acceptable (dokimos) before God. A teacher (ergatēs) that is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because he expound correctly (Giving everyone, that is, the Jew, the Gentile and Church, his rightful portion of the Gospel); the divine message; subject of discourse (Logos) of the truth (alētheia); verity of God without offence ‘aproskopos’; a stumbling (1 Corinthians 10:31-33, 2 Corinthians 6:3). The efficiency and effectiveness of a Bible Study determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bible teacher. The presentation level is the actual classroom teaching. The effectiveness of the presentation level is total reliant on preparation or strategic planning. Ineffective preparation will render the presentation poor and this cannot be corrected by the level of anointing or even the giftedness of a teacher. Paul cautioned Timothy to stir up (anazōpureō), to rekindle the gift (charismah; a religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: - (free) gift) that is upon him and not neglect it (1 Timothy 4:14 & 2 Timothy 1:6).
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27)
Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)
The key to better Bible teaching is dependent upon the preparation or strategy/planning level. If not effectively done at this level it may result in problematic deliverance or presentation. Preparation is about excellence of both the presenter and the message. God has given each believer the capacity to understand His Word and to discern truth. We should never doubt our capacity to glean truth from scripture, for we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, teaching us. We have the mind of Christ. The first step in meaningful Bible study is prayer, fervent prayer that God will open your mind and your heart to receive with meekness His implanted word that is able to save your soul (James 1:21). Prayer helps rid one's mind of preoccupation of wrong ideas and ideals. It removes all prejudice that can hinder the flow of God's knowledge, plans and purposes. Prayer is a weapon that protects a believer from the enemy that will try to snatch the truth he learned from his heart (Matthew 13:19). To those who study it with purpose the Bible provides wonderful words of life. Those who ignore the Bible will just see it as one of the books they had no interest for, but in the end it will judge them (John 12:48). The starting point of gaining knowledge from the Bible is to read it, interpreting the scriptures to make them consumable to the human soul and spirit. Interpreting the word means to find out the meanings of unfamiliar words, comparing scripture with scripture, considering the context and purpose of the words as laid out by the author in order to properly understand the intention of the message. At this I would like to assert that in my view the best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself, thus we have to let the word tell us what it is saying.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
To hear his words and not do them is to be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:26). Therefore having properly interpreted the message the next step is now to put it to good use. The knowledge gain from this study enables a believer to discern between evil and good (Hebrew 5:14), truth and error, the faithful teacher and the false (1 John 4:1). Most of God's people are destroyed by their lack of proper knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and failure to put to good use the knowledge of God made available to them. Let us all resolve to actively read, interpret, apply and use God's precious Word all the days of our lives. In one accord with the psalmist let us sing, "Thy testimonies are wonderful; Therefore doth my soul keep them. The opening of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:129-139). Our knowledge of our God is derived from the Bible; it is our holy guide for worshiping and serving Him. We live our daily life by its precepts; and it is our fountain of hope for a better life after this one. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to all us. When we understand this principle we begin to understand the Bible. Since we believe God is who He is, then what is true of God should also characterize the Book that describes Him. God is the Source of this revelation (Deuteronomy 29:29). Christ, the Son of God, is the central theme of the Bible (John 5:38). The Holy Spirit is the divine Author of Scripture (2 Peter 1:20, 21). Therefore, the Bible is the revelation of God, Christ is the message of the Bible, and the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible.
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
Effective Bible Study involve the use of study tools or Bible helps some of which include a Bible Concordance: this help provides an alphabetical listing of the main words in the Bible with the immediate context of each word; A Bible dictionary: unlike the ordinary dictionary this one gives the definitions of Bible words as they were used in the original context of Scripture. Word study books go beyond the basic Bible dictionary in defining words used in the Bible. They provide the Greek or Hebrew word and various meanings given to the same word. Another study help is a Bible encyclopedia, and this one lists various Bible subjects and words in alphabetical order and defines them. But it provides a more extensive discussion than a dictionary. We also have a Bible Commentary which provide comments on the scriptures. A commentary is very helpful in explaining passages that are difficult to understand. A Bible atlas or geography contains maps and information about the lands of the Bible. It enables you locate and understand the geographical setting in which the incidents in the Bible happened. A topical textbook is a book which organizes the Bible under major topical listings and gives the verses where these topics are discussed. A Bible handbook is usually a one volume summary of selected information about the Bible. It contains helpful maps and charts, definitions, information on Bible times, and summaries of the books of the Bible. For those who are computer literate and have access to the Internet, it is a wonderful resource for Bible study tools. This are just some of the handy tools for helping us to better understand the scriptures and the list is not exhausted.
The Lord gave the Word: great was the company of those that published it. (Psalm 68:11)
He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:47)
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
The Bible clearly reveals that a man may be educated, learned, cultured, and even religious, but the understanding of Scripture will be hidden from him until his spiritual eyes have been opened by the new birth. A man who is not born again may study the Bible as a religious book but his studying it will not bring understanding because the thing therein are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 & 1 Corinthians 1:18). From the moment you accept Jesus as your Savior and experience the new spiritual birth, your mind will begin to understand spiritual truths in God's Word. After being born again the steps one must take to discover and gain the knowledge of God include maintaining a teachable attitude and spirit, accepting the Word and integrating Him into our live and spirit, really listen to what God is saying to you through His Word. Listening requires changes in living where indicated, commit oneself to searching the truth from the Word in order to gain wisdom from Him. Lastly conduct a systematic search on the Word until you find the hidden treasure in the Word. This should be a priority of every believer’s daily life. Set aside a special time to meet God at a special place and start the meeting in a special way. In short let this be a memorable moment that will always be remembered.
Proper Bible study will enable effective interpretation and this should be based on the rules of interpretation. These include the rule of divine authority which implies that the Bible has the final authority because it is the ruling of the Almighty God (2 Timothy 3:16 & 2 Peter 1: 19-20). The second is the rule of literal interpretation which means that the Bible should be taken to mean what it says unless otherwise indicated by the context. The third rule is contextual consideration meaning that every piece of scripture should be studied in relation to the verses which precede and follow it, as well as in relation to the rest of the Bible. Contextual study must answer the questions of who is speaking. What is he saying? To whom is he speaking? Why is he saying what he is saying? And when was it said? Fourth is the rule of first mention. The first time a word, phrase, object, or incident is mentioned in the Bible, it gives the key to its meaning anywhere else it occurs. Fifth rule is repetition and it implies that every time a word, phrase or event is repeated indicate emphasis. The last rule is cumulative revelation. The full truth of God's Word on any subject must not be gathered from an isolated passage. The cumulative (total) revelation of all the Bible says regarding a truth must be considered. The psalmist said “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” (Psalm 119:144). And this should be a prayer to all of us and our students.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).
The goal of your personal Bible study is not merely the acquiring of new knowledge, neither can it be limited to the benefits you realize in your own life. The ultimate aim of your personal Bible study is to share insight with others and see the Scriptures change their life. Teaching the Bible is three facet, it is made up of preparation; teaching begins long before anyone arrives in the classroom. A teacher begins to teach when he or she begins to study and prepare the lesson. Then there is guidance; the teacher cannot make pupils learn. All the teacher can do is guide the pupil through learning experiences. Learning is something pupils must do for themselves. The teacher can motivate pupils to learn by planning experiences, planning the sequence of experience, and planning for outcomes. This means the teacher is guiding pupils in learning experiences. And lastly learning experiences; Teaching is not telling: it is guiding pupils through experiences designed for their learning. Listening is not learning. When pupils experience the truth of God’s Word, they learn its lessons. Effective Bible teachers are those who are able to provide an environment in which the students learn and apply the Bible. The ideal teacher is like a guide: a fellow participant, an instructor, people-oriented, and views himself as a servant. Good teachers have knowledge, enthusiasm, and interaction with their students, empathy, and the ability to challenge their students in their thinking and in their spiritual walk. An effective teacher has a passion for people, for the truth, for study and learning, to share what he has learned, for practical application of what is taught, and a passion for God. I believe that understanding the characteristics of an effective teacher will help strengthen my teaching as I strive to model my behavior and character according to these admirable qualities. With God's help, I will prayerfully focus on these characteristics before, during, and after my teaching sessions.
Effective Bible teaching occurs when a teacher "bridges the gap" from what a passage meant to the original audience to what it means to us today. In order to properly teach what the Bible means for us today, a teacher must properly understand the Bible and its different types of writing, known as a genres. The Bible contains a variety of writing styles: stories, poems, theological expositions, proverbs, satire, visionary writing, epistles, and parables. Therefore, stories must be taught as stories, poems as poems, and theological exposition as theological exposition. I believe that understanding both the divine and human aspect of the Bible will help strengthen my teaching as I strive to properly interpret the Scriptures according to its genre and then proclaim a contemporary application for us today that allows God to teach us and transform us as we get to know Him and His Word. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). It is the responsibility of teachers to teach sound doctrine, but the purpose of teaching doctrine is not only to teach doctrinal truth. The goal of doctrinal teaching is to help students adopt the Christian lifestyle most appropriate to sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Remember how the people who heard Jesus teaching marveled at His doctrine (Mark 1:27). Therefore it is appropriate for us to emulate Him by teaching with authority and excellence. “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28, 29).
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:10
And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Acts 20:20
In conclusion again I reiterate teaching is not talking and learning is not listening. Let the learning and teaching involve the active participation of those who are being taught. This is ineluctable because the Word of God must continue be taught in both large and small group settings. This involves questions and answers, and practical dialogue together around the Word with practical applications that hit people where they live. Believers must be trained in such practical aspects as how to study their Bibles, how to pray, how to witness, how to walk in the power of the Spirit, etc., that they may, in turn, be able to train others (2 Timothy 2:2-3). As believers within the body are built up in the Word, trained for ministry, and exercise their gifts, they should naturally be able to meet many of the counseling needs within the church and save many souls who will otherwise be lost due to the turmoil of this evil times (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Believers must be taught and encouraged to build bridges and develop relationships with the lost. People must learn to help their neighbors, show mercy, and, according to their ability, given to those in need to demonstrate the love of Christ and build bridges for the gospel (Luke 10:33). In order thoroughly fulfill this obligations an in depth study, interpretation and understanding of the Bible is inevitable and this calls for extensive preparation to ensure success. All this is impossible without the close companionship of the principal teacher, Holy Spirit of the Living God.
- Diane, E, Learn How to study the Bible, 2009, Xulon Press, USA.
- Harvestime International Institute, Creative Bible Study
- King James Concordance, E-Sword
- Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary, E-Sword
- Towns E.L, How to create and present High Impact Bible Studies, 1998, Liberty University.
- Towns E.L, How to study and teach the Bible, 1997.
- Waddey J, Effective Bible Study: How to understand and apply God's Word, 2011, Sun City West, USA.
- Warren R, Bible Study Methods, 2006, Zondervan, Michigan, USA
- Wilhoit J.C & Ryken L, Effective Bible Teaching, 2012, Baker Publishing Group, Michigan, USA