The goal of teaching God’s Word is transformation, not connection. A connection may be the first stone on the pathway to spiritual maturity, but Christ-likeness is the goal.
COVID-19 has brought a season of uncertainty to our Sunday school and small groups. Some groups have not survived. Others have successfully mastered the world of online teaching and continue to do it well. Still, others are coming back to in-person meetings or a hybrid of online and in person. To sustain groups has required teachers to get out of their comfort zones and be creative. As with many ministries in our churches, we are allowed to rethink and realign how we teach. Let’s consider how to make improvements at this critical juncture in our churches.
Teaching for disciple making is more than giving information to a person.
It is seeking life transformation. Many great teachers have intrigued our groups with Bible knowledge for too long and facilitated good discussion around this intrigue. People enjoy what they are learning but are not applying it to their lives. Excellent understanding of Scripture can be academic, but an application of that knowledge is life-changing. This is a great time to consider how we help our groups apply Scripture to their lives.
Personal application – This begins with applying what we are preparing to deliver to our group to our own lives. It is hard to have credibility in our teaching if we do not live out what we are giving to our groups. We need to share how God is working in our lives with our groups as it relates to the passage we prepared to teach for that week.
Prepare to teach – Hopefully, a teacher takes the time to prepare. Are we preparing suddenly on Saturday or daily with diligence? Setting aside a few minutes each day to read and re-read the passage allows us to meditate on that as we go through our daily routine. Teaching needs to be a part of our daily lives as a leader and not the last thing to do before going to church on Sunday.
Overcome the obstacles – We are now confronted with the changes in how we go about teaching due to COVID. Teachers are faced with learning technology that challenges the way they have always taught. If they meet in person, their group can be much smaller or larger, depending on the situation. People can be fretful and fearful. Teaching online can be impersonal. Yes, to all of that. A genuine determination to overcome these obstacles and turn them into opportunities can reinvigorate our teaching. We can be better teachers as a result.
Our groups will change. We can help them change for the better by making the adjustments needed to teach outside the box. Change is hard, but change is happening. This can be good for you and your groups.