Teaching: Keep Learning
If you are going to teach the Bible, you have to keep learning yourself.
Being a leader of teenager is sort of like being a gallon of paint. You dip your brush in, slap some on the wall, spread it side to side, and stand back and check your work. Sometimes you need a second coat. So you dip some more, and you keep on going.
Eventually, you run out of paint. What do you do when your can is open and you’ve still got work to do? If you’re painting an actual wall, you go to the paint store and get another gallon or two. But if it’s you that is running empty, you have to fill yourself up.
This is certainly true spiritually. But it is also true when it comes to knowledge. If you are going to teach the Bible, you have to keep learning yourself. Here are a few can’t-skip steps in keeping your mind and study habits fresh.
1. Learn On Your Own
Personal study is the responsibility of every Christian. 1 Peter 2:2 calls us to crave the Word of God so that we can grow thereby. Psalm 119 echoes the refrain that it is God’s Word that lights our path, keeps us from sin, and helps us be closer to God.
What are your study habits? Do you read from the Bible regularly? How is it that you allow God to fill you up privately? If you do not have healthy, habitual habits through which you are studying on your own, the chances that you will continue to effectively minister to students is small.
2. Learn in Commuity
Learning privately is important, but it’s not the only way to continue to deepen yourself in study. Learning in community is great because you are challenged to think in ways you would not dream to do on your own. Whether it is with a friend or two around a table talking about the Scripture or in a regular weekly small group sponsored by your church, learning in community is a must.
It challenges you based on others’ experience. It allows for discussion which challenges our assumptions and deepens our convictions. It also deepens our relationships with others, which edifies us as believers again and again.
3. Learn from Your Students
You may not suspect it, but you are also able to learn from your own students, too. There are many times when a student has asked a penetrating question that was as enlightening to me as my own private study. There have been occasions when a student shed light on something that I had never thought of before, nor had I considered in a group discussion with other adults.
Don’t be so arrogant as to think that we always know more than the students we serve. In fact, if you are teaching them to do private study as you practice, it’s a great thrill when they unearth a truth you had never considered.
There are tons of other ways to keep learning. Our own website had numerous studies, teaching tips and information to study. The internet is filled with devotions, videos, and curriculums that you can keep to learning.
There’s no excuse not to, so get to work, and keep learning so you can keep teaching and effectively pointing students toward Jesus.