Summary: Philip learned how to submit himself to the teaching of God before trying to make others understand his viewpoint. Too many teachers forget how important it is to listen to the Lord. Philip listened to the angel of God say to him, "Arise and go toward the
Illustration:William A. Ward has said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Progress Magazine, December 23, 1992.
Illustration: An item in "The Report Card" told of a study done in Colorado in which 3000 high school seniors were asked about their best teachers. From their responses this composite was drawn. The ideal teacher (1) is genuinely concerned and interested in students as individuals; (2) requires students to work; (3) is impartial in dealing with students; and (4) is obviously enthusiastic about teaching.
Today In The Word, Oct, 1989, p. 25.
Example: Teaching is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the minds of the ignorant by the means of the incompetent...is the transfer of material from the teacher’s notes to the student’s notebook, without it going through either’s minds.
J. Dennis Miller, president of Church Youth Development states that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claims that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning.
Youth, Miller contends, learn in a different way: 1) evaluation of life experience; 2) discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences; 3) identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience; 4) acceptance of truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience is the main influence on the learning young mind.
1. An effective teacher is one who seeks to understand before trying to be understood. Philip learned how to submit himself to the teaching of God before trying to make others understand his viewpoint. Too many teachers forget how important it is to listen to the Lord. Philip listened to the angel of God say to him, "Arise and go toward the south· go near and overtake his chariot." (Acts 8:26,29) Good teachers learn how to listen to the Lord and His directives before making any decisions.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to learn how to listen and research His word before trying to teach your own favorite subjects.
2. An effective teacher learns how to gain more of the mind of Christ before opening their mouth.
Example: Philip knew that a good teacher teaches truth, but also inspires others in the ways of eternal values. Philip realized that the Ethiopian eunuch would be interested in learning, but he wanted to teach him about truth that would inspire heavenly values. Ask the Lord to help you to teach in a way that inspires people to not only change their creed by their perspectives and behavior.
3. An effective teacher learns how to ask questions and listens to their pupils. Philip began his lesson by asking the Ethiopian a question, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8:30) Too many teachers are a like a fire hydrant spewing out copious amounts of information. Philip was wise enough to know that most people learn through a process of questions and answers.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to learn how to be as skilled in the questions you ask as the answers you provide. Be a good listener.
4. An effective teacher makes decisions according to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Philip responded to the urgings of the Spirit even though it did not make human sense. For a lowly Greek-speaking disciple to approach a wealthy and powerful Ethiopian took great courage. Effective teachers learn how to stay sensitively in tune with the Spirit so they know when to go and come according to the Spiritâs momentary promptings.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you stay able to respond to the Spirit’s promptings in your subjects, delivery and organization.
5. An effective teacher is ready for surprises from God. Philip must have been surprised at the whole experience with the Ethiopian Eunuch because it was entirely new. The Spirit of God has a way of giving us the creativity and extemporaneous ability to speak in a persuasive way that brings about the greatest changes. Ask God to help you to not be afraid of surprises so that you can speak creativity and in an extemporaneous manner.
6. An effective teacher does not limit how the Spirit might use Godâs love, power or truth. Philip easily could have thought that some other kind of spirit was urging him to speak to the Ethiopian, but he trusted and obey God’s will. In this case, God used the truth to convert a rich, power and intelligent man who surely influenced thousands of his countrymen.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to never limit what the Spirit of God can do through your teaching of Godâs love, power and truth.