OceanSide church of Christ
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TEN THINGS A TEACHER DOES (1)
Victor M. Eskew
Teachers within the church are often taken for granted. These individuals are faithful in their duty to their class. Every week they show up at their post. They sacrifice time and money to do the best job they possibly can. At times, they grow weary and want to quit. But, they keep on keeping on. At the outset of this article, we want to say: “Thank you,” to all our teachers.
In this article, we want to answer the question: “What does a teacher do?” This seems like a silly question because the title, “teacher,” sums up what they do. A teacher teaches. This is true, but a teacher really does more than this. Let’s look at “Ten Things A Teacher Does.”
First, a teacher prays. A teacher prays for himself and for his students. A teacher realizes the gravity of the task assigned to him, to teach the Word of God. A teacher also understands his weaknesses, frailties, and shortcomings. Thus, he stands in need of God’s help. That help is provided at the foot of the throne of God. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of his grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
A teacher is also aware of his students. Each is in a unique position before God. Some are saved. Some are not. Some are struggling with sin. Some are making big decisions. Some are faithful, but need encouragement. Others have major difficulties in their personal lives. The teacher wants to address their needs. Too, he hopes the students are eager, and, not distracted when learning. Therefore, prayers go up on behalf of the students. To the saints at Colossae, Paul penned these words: “For this cause also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).
Second, a teacher imparts knowledge. The knowledge that is imparted is not secular knowledge. It is divine knowledge. It is truth that proceeds from the mind of an all-wise God. Jesus told his disciples: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:20). A teacher understands the seriousness of the Great Commission. Because of this sober obligation, the teacher studies diligently before entering the classroom. He heeds Paul’s words to Timothy in II Timothy 2:15. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Once the truth of God’s Word has been learned by the teacher, he seeks to impart it to others. He might look at a character found in the Bible. He might examine a particular story from the Scriptures. He might choose a text, a command, or a principle to discuss. Whatever the subject he strives to bring his students to an understanding of God’s will. One thing that is constantly in his mind is application. He wants his pupils to apply God’s Word to their character and to their situation in life.
Third, a teacher inspires his students. It is not possible for a teacher to impart all knowledge about every subject he teaches. Thus, it is his responsibility to inspire his students to learn more about the subject on their own. This is not an easy task. Most students want to be spoon fed. They do not like to dig on their own. In addition, most students are very busy. They may feel like they do not have time to study outside of the classroom. The teacher can do several things that can help to inspire his students to learn more. He can make practical application of the information that is taught. The more practical the application, the more eager a student is to desire more. They can leave questions about the subject in the minds of the students. They can point the students to various sources of information on the subject. Wouldn’t it be an encouragement to teachers if they could hear their students say: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…” (Phil. 3:8)?
Fourth, teachers show the way. Much of what is taught in Christianity involves one’s behavior. It deals with how we are the live in this present, evil world. It involves do’s and do nots. Teachers must be a pattern for their students to follow. They tell their students: “This is what God wants us to do. Now, let me show you how it is done.” The apostle Paul realized this. To the saints in Corinth, he wrote: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). The young preacher and teacher named Timothy was exhorted by Paul to be example to the believers. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Tim. 4:12). Paul set forth six areas wherein Timothy should manifest himself as an example to other Christians. These men were simply following in the steps of the Master Teacher. Not only did the Lord teach, but He also showed His disciples the way. Luke described his gospel about Jesus with these words: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:10. Jesus did, then He taught. The order of the actions is very important. As a teacher, a person’s life must manifest the importance of the things he is teaching in his life first.