“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). At the end of the age, every teacher of the Bible will give an account for every word spoken on His behalf.
In his book, The Preacher’s Catechism, Lewis Allen gives every Bible teacher six questions to assess whether they are being faithful and obedient in their teaching and/or preaching. If you are blessed to be a teacher of the Bible, read and reflect:
- What happens in my heart when people thank me for my teaching? Do I straight away silently thank God that they were blessed? Or do I thank myself for my skills as a preacher?
- When I teach poorly, why does it devastate me? Is it because I don’t think that Christ’s sheep have been fed? Or is it because my ego hasn’t been stroked?
- Do I teach to serve me hearers or to scratch my own teaching itches? Do I choose passages for the pulpit because I know they will serve where my hearers are in need or because I prefer them and think I teach them well?
- When someone says something critical that is true but painful about my teaching (to me or to someone else, and it has gotten back to me), is my first response angry self-pity, or do I give God thanks for this Spirit-given opportunity to grow in my preaching?
- Should I adopt a different teaching tone and style or perhaps teach shorter messages in order to reach my hearers more effectively? Or do pride and fear tie me to teaching as I always have?
- Do I ever have the courage to ask those closest to me (my spouse or the church’s leaders) about my teaching? Am I prepared for honest and loving feedback, or do I wish to keep justifying my ministry exactly as it is?