“He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: ‘Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed…’ Then Jesus said, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’”Mark 4:2-3;9
Good teaching means being a good listener and good questioner for discussion. Sunday School teaching includes good communication, sometimes by sharing your experiences with your class members by telling stories about how the Bible has applied to your own life. Howard Hendricks once told me, “Sometimes people are wary of words, but they are starving for authenticity and are losing the excitement in their spiritual life because they are not listening to Scripture for themselves.”
The Word of God is a living inspiration for our lives, not just ideas or man-made philosophies. C. S. Lewis said: “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God, do you learn!” His most influential teacher was W. T. Kirkpatrick, “The Hard Knock,” an atheist who taught him how to listen to other ideas and how to think. My experience with secular professors in college, as well as listening to influential teachers in my life like W.A. Criswell’s emphasis on the “inerrant, inspired Word of God,” all the way to Robert Jeffress’s bold and courageous teachings of God’s Word, have been inspiring models of living God’s Word and teaching it to others in my Sunday School class.
None of the seed falling upon those who do not listen to the Word of God will produce an ability to think Christianly for oneself, as Jesus implies in the parable of the sower. This is the goal of teaching: making disciples who are growing in God’s Word and spreading the gospel to others in what C. S. Lewis calls “the Good Infection.” Lewis tells us, “The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Christ Himself.” That is the key to good teaching: centering on Christ, the Word, and its application to our transformed experiences. Think Christianly about these principles for teaching others:
- Teach others to listen, learn, and lead.
- Educate with the mind of Christ, heart, experiences, and testimonies of God’s will in your life.
- Act in accordance with being a consistent, conscientious, caring, coherent, comprehensive Christian.
- Center on Christ always, bringing every thought captive to the mind of Christ
- Holiness from the Holy Spirit should guide you.