Heart Deep Teaching

Mondays on the blog are reserved for sharing a brief quote from a book that can help in your teaching ministry. Today’s quote comes from the book, Heart Deep Teaching by Gary Newton. He is going to help us understand how to do a better job of teaching from the heart. He says,

Heart-deep teaching” must begin with “heart-deep learning” on the part of the teacher. Teachers must prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate their minds, emotions, wills, and behaviors in light of the objective teachings of God’s Word. They must engage all of their God-given faculties to discover what God is saying in the text within its grammatical and historical context and begin to apply those principles to their own lives. Teachers must begin by discovering and practicing the truth from the text before trying to apply and communicate it to their students (emphasis mine).

As they (teachers) get excited about their students and how to teach them…specific ideas from the text, they fail to apply at a heart level the central intent of the passage to their own lives. Thus the lesson bypasses the hart of the teacher only to become a professional objective to be accomplished…Yet this practice leaders to externalism, hypocrisy, and shallowness in teaching – the opposite of biblical standards of heart-deep teaching (pp.55-56).

I have referenced Ezra 7:10 before, but this verse is relevant to what Gary Newton has communicated in the quote above. Ezra 7:10 says, “Now Ezra determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.” The order in which Ezra did things is very important! First, he studied the Word of God (that’s what most of us will do to prepare for the next time we teach. Next, he obeyed God’s Word, and then he taught its principles to the people of Israel. Ezra felt it was extremely important to live out the text and obey God before he challenged the people to do the same. I imagine he was strengthened in his spirit because he knew he was “the real deal” – an authentic follower of God. I pray this is our posture as we lead and teach others. May teaching never be an exercise in simply teaching biblical truth, but may it change and transform our hearts first as we seek to lead and teach God’s people.

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