Saturday, December 06, 2008

What to Ask Myself Before I Teach (or Preach) the Bible

(This article was posted on an email list I subscribe to yesterday afternoon and was written by Jim Elliff. I appreciate his seriousness about the Word of God and staying true to the text at hand.)

The results of our teaching are entirely God's business. But it is our business to be as prepared as possible. This not only means that we must know our subject, but that we must be spiritually-minded and intentional. The following are questions to ask yourself before you teach others:
  1. Have I prayed?
  2. Do I consciously and desperately need the Spirit?
  3. Do I believe that my hearers must hear what I have to say?
  4. Am I attempting to live by the truths I am presenting?
  5. Will my demeanor and words reflect the beauty and significance of the passage?
  6. Do I believe God will change my listeners through what I will say?
  7. In what principal way do I believe my hearers will be different because of this teaching?
  8. How would this truth affect _____________, ___________, ____________ (put in names).
  9. Am I saying what the passage says, or am I using the passage to justify saying what I want to say?
  10. Will the most mature Christian be challenged and the least mature understand?
  11. In what ways am I remembering all who may be present (i.e., children, singles, retired, those without Christian spouses, etc.)
  12. Am I using vivid word pictures and helpful illustrations to make my teaching memorable and clear?
  13. Is there anything I am planning to say that I should not say?
  14. Am I passionate about this truth, and will my passion be evident to my listeners?
  15. In what ways will I make Christ known (even from the Old Testament)?

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Also, remember that true believers are not interested in your cleverness, but rather your faithfulness. You will do them immense good if you will simply teach what the Bible says, as accurately and as clearly as possible. Do not try to steal the attention away from God.

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