II Timothy 2:15 says: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (NIV)
Teachers/Disciples must continue to learn. There is nothing more frustrating and disappointing than to hear someone say, “I have learned all I want to learn.” As long as there is breath, we continue to learn and allow God to shape us (See Jeremiah 18.)
Today I want to encourage you to seek teacher training on a regular basis. If you are a public school teacher, lawyer, doctor, nurse or other professional, you are expected to experience continued education/learning every year. We have a bigger responsibility than all of the above as Sunday School/Bible study teachers. We are asked to facilitate a discussion of God’s Word (alive and transforming.)
Here are four benefits of training on a regular basis:
1. We always need a reminder of the “why.” Sunday School from its inception was a missionary and disciple-making endeavor. Over time with our busy schedules, we- as teachers, can become complacent. We can see teaching as just another duty or service. We need reminders that Sunday School/Small Groups are a life changing and transformative experience.
Transformation is essential. James 1:22 reads, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV) We need to be reminded that Bible study is not just about knowing the Bible, but living accordingly. How do we teach for life transformation?
2. We discover new ways of teaching and new resources. At every training conference I have attended over the years, I could always find new teaching ideas: curriculum, learning style approaches, outreach ideas, ways to care for class members, and wonderful anecdotes to use with my class. One or two ideas, which can be implemented in your class, makes it worthwhile.
3. We receive encouragement as we meet new teachers and share with each other. Sometimes as a youth teacher, I felt isolated at church. I was the only youth teacher, and faced joys and frustrations with no one to really get where I was.
Proverbs 27:17 reads, As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (NIV) When I attended conferences for Youth teachers, I met others who faced similar struggles and joys. We could stay in touch and continue to encourage each other!! Training leads to new relationships with other teachers.
4. Training Rekindles our Calling. Teachers are missionaries and disciple makers. We sometimes put this calling on the back burner, and need to be reminded. Allow the Spirit to fan the flame within you as you seek training. You will come back with a renewed sense of purpose and calling.
You can find three large training events coming up in August at: http://bgav.org/sundayschool/ Come join us and see the benefits.