3 kinds of teachers – which one are you?

If you are a Bible study group leader, your philosophy of teaching falls into one of 3 general biblestudycategories:

  1.  Some group leaders believe they are there to teach people.
  2.  Some group leaders believe they are there to teach the lesson.
  3.  Some group leaders believe they are there to teach for transformation.

Which one would your group members say most closely resembles your leadership philosophy? Is one better than another? The simple and quick answer is, “yes,” one is better. Here’s a quick look at all 3.

Teaching People – If this is your philosophy, you view your role as one that should emphasize:

  • Feeling good…relationships are important
  • Being togetherKoinonia is king
  • Attendance – how many showed up? Numbers are a big deal
  • Conversation – are people interacting on a personal level and getting real?

Success = “Did my people enjoy their time together?”

Teaching the lesson –  If this is your philosophy of teaching, you’re going to emphasize:

  • Getting through the lesson – did I do everything the curriculum suggested I should?
  • Information and knowledge – I learned a lot of neat facts as I studied, and I want to do a “brain drain” from my mind to theirs
  • Methods and mechanics – style is important, so I want to use different methods that keep my people guessing what we’re doing each week
  • A communication style that gets information out rather than one that gets through

Success = Getting through all the points in my lesson – did I follow the curriculum 100%?

Teaching for transformation – This is the ultimate goal for any good teacher. While it acknowledges the first two categories above, it goes beyond just teaching people or teaching a lesson. The group leader who teaches for transformation knows that the emphasis should be:

  • More than just attendance
  • The application of biblical truth
  • Developing good spiritual habits
  • Teaching people and teaching lessons with an ultimate goal of spiritual transformation

Success = Disciples (people who look and act like Jesus)

The truth is, we teach people, we teach people lessons, and we should have a goal of teaching so that people are transformed by God’s Spirit. The trick is keeping all 3 in balance, and not excluding one over the other two.

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One thought on “3 kinds of teachers – which one are you?

  1. wOw!!! This is great stuff to challenge me as a teacher! God bless you, Ken. I saw myself as a teacher of people….then certainly lesson…..but PTL also teach for transformation! What a great reminder to become all that God intends as we share the Good News. Judith Maxwell

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