My friends David Francis and Ken Braddy have provided us a wonderful tool entitled “3 Roles for guiding groups”. The three roles are teacher, shepherd and leader. My focus today is on the role of the teacher and the responsibilities of being a teacher.
The first and maybe the most important responsibility of a teacher is to lead people (bed babies through senior adults) to be engaged in God’s Word. We don’t teach just content. We don’t just develop fun activities. We don’t ask meaningless questions just to get them to talk in the group. The role of the teacher is to make sure that every person is engaged with God’s Word for at least a few minutes every week. This happens when a teacher is properly prepared and has developed a plan for time that the group will be in Bible study. To get people engaged in Bible study requires three steps. First, create interest. Second is to have no more than three succinct summary statements of the scripture(s) being presented for study. Third, have a specific challenge for the group to apply the lesson in their life. This is a call to action. There must be application!
Another responsibility of a teacher is to be a student how people learn. Every group is different and every member of your group is different. All people learn differently. A good teacher is a student of better understanding basics developmental needs/skills. A teacher is aware that the challenges faced in various life stages can also impact the way people learn.
When I was in college I was challenged in one of my education classes with the following statements, “if the student doesn’t learn who is to blame?” The answer to that question can’t be covered in 500 word blog post but the point is this, a teacher has not really taught if they don’t challenge the students to apply what they taught. Did the teacher really teach if the student didn’t apply anything? Did the student really learn if they didn’t apply anything?
The final responsibility is that a teacher most be a life-long learner. You stop learning today and stop teaching tomorrow! A good teacher is always learning. They are always looking for ways to improve their skills. Good teachers always want to know more so that they can share more. I doubt that the desire to be a life-long learning is struggle for you. If you weren’t a learner you probably never would have taken the time to read this blog post! Thanks for all you doing to make more disciples for Christ.
Dr. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Convention and is the Sunday School/Small Groups Specialist. Visit their website at sssg.gabaptist.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School.
You can also connect with Dr. Smith through at gabaptistsundayschool.org, facebook.com/GABaptistSundaySchool or twitter.com/GBCSundaySchool.