At Guard the Gift, we encourage and empower Bible teachers to strive for excellence in their teaching. Below, you’ll find a more detailed explanation of our goal at Guard the Gift: to enable teachers to excel, equip, and entrust.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
“Do your best.” This is how the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy and, by extension, Bible teachers today. Many Christians teach within the church. Not all Christians do their best. The best, however, is what God deserves.
The approach a teacher takes to teaching begins with the approach a teacher takes to learning. Doing your best to study the biblical text requires a significant commitment—commitment of time, energy, and resources. A Christian who refuses to make the time to delve deeply into Bible study shouldn’t teach. A Christian who refuses to put forth considerable effort into understanding the biblical text shouldn’t teach. A Christian who refuses to invest valuable resources (i.e., money) into understanding how to engage with the Bible better shouldn’t teach. If this seems extreme, just consider how much time, effort, and money Christians invest in school, work, entertainment, and hobbies. It shouldn’t seem extreme to those who claim the word of God can save the soul to invest significantly in “rightly handling the word of truth.”
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.Ephesians 4:11–12 ESV
“Equip the saints.” This is what the apostle Paul tells the Ephesian Christians that teachers are supposed to do within the church. The goal of teaching is not to impart information or speak engagingly about the Bible. The goal of teaching is to equip the saints to work effectively as members of the body of Christ. Teachers who don’t relate the text of Scripture to the lives of saints are teachers who’ve failed to teach the way that God requires. The goal of teaching necessitates that teachers prepare not only to teach the text accurately but to teach it applicably.
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
“Teach others also.” This is how the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy and, by extension, Bible teachers today. Perhaps the most neglected aspect of teaching in the church is the training of new teachers. Shepherds and evangelists are not only responsible for teaching to equip the saints; they’re responsible for teaching to create new teachers. Effective teachers have it as their aim to pass along the passion they possess for studying the word, teaching the word, and equipping the saints.
It doesn’t suffice to have an effective evangelist if he doesn’t teach others how to do what he does, the way he does it. Those who have the skillset and experience to teach effectively must make the time not only to teach but also to train the next generation of effective teachers.