Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 188

This year God has used you in your teaching and preaching. Other people have been blessed by what you have shared.

But, what has God taught you about teaching and preaching? It’s important from time to time to pause and reflect. Moses reminded the people of Israel that they must not forget what God had taught them:

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

(Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV11)

God knew how important it was that his people did not forget what he had done. He hoped they would pass the lessons on to the next generation.  How can we make sure we have noticed what God has done this year in teaching us about teaching and preaching? Let me offer three suggestions:

  1. Highs and lows. What would you consider to be your most effective lesson this year? And what would you consider to be your least effective lesson this year? The “popularity” or otherwise of your lesson is not the point. Whether people liked it or not is not the point here. Many of Jesus’s most effective lessons were not popular! What I’m talking about here is impact. That’s nothing to do with volume, energy or slickness of presentation. It’s to do with God’s Spirit working through your words and striking the hearts and minds of those present. If you’re not sure, go back and look at your recordings or outlines. Simply ask God in prayer to remind you of your most effective and least effective lessons of the year. Having done that, ask yourself what it was in your opinion but made that particular lesson so effective, or ineffective. Resolve to bear those lessons in mind to prepare to preach and teach in 2020.
  2. Feedback. What have people told you at church events or afterwards? What comments have been left if you put materials online?  What have you noticed in the way the congregation has responded to your lessons? Have they been paying attention? Have you felt or heard the silence of people absorbing what you’ve been teaching? Have you heard from people who put into practice what you taught and found it to be a blessing?
  3. Heart. How has preaching and teaching touched your own heart this year? You might need to pray about this. What have you learned about your own discipleship to Jesus from the way that you prepared and presented lessons? At our final men’s meeting at the Watford met Church of Christ this year we shared some of the lessons from the year. Stefan reflected that one of his key lessons was a deep conviction that he needed to live what he preached. I have felt the same thing particularly in the second half of the year. I felt God help me to tie more closely together what I am studying, teaching and living. I feel he has helped me to reflect more carefully and whether I’m living what I’m teaching and preaching. Now, as I study and prepare my lessons I’m asking myself whether I’m living what I’m about to speak. And if not, what can I do in the immediate future to put principles into practice? It’s not so much I need to tick the box, it’s more that I need to take seriously what the spirit is teaching me.

Could you share some of your learnings here? Leave a comment and let us know your main lessons from 2019. You never know, God might be about teach us the lessons he’s taught you in the last 12 months. Help us to get a head start!

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John