Online Articles

Online Articles


Bible class teachers spend much time, effort, and energy developing materials for their classes.  Our congregation has a large library, a resource room, and a curriculum room full of resources.  There are a number of websites, bookstores, and software programs that teachers use to build lesson plans.  Even with all of these resources, teachers must spend considerable time and energy to ensure that their materials are sound and effective.  The effort is challenging, but rewarding. 

Teachers invest the effort in their materials because they understand that students retain information better when the lessons require the student to be actively engaged in the class.  Keeping students engaged requires effort – worksheets, lesson plans, study guides, and other tools – are often built from scratch or reworked each session to keep the material effective. 

Our teachers understand the charge they keep.   They work hard, understanding that their work is not in vain (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58).  They use their abilities as faithful stewards and ensure their lessons are the “very words of God:”

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV)

Equipping the saints – and future saints, in the case of our children – is an important work.  Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, states that God set in place the structure of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ…. (Ephesians 4:11-15).” 

Our teachers understand that they are “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries (1 Corinthians 4:1).”  Today, the word “steward” isn’t used all that much in everyday conversation.  Stewardship involves being entrusted with something of great importance with an expectation of increasing its value.  Biblical stewardship is grounding in living our lives based on what the Bible tells us about God’s standards.  Christians understand that God has entrusted us with everything we have.  Appropriate Christian stewardship includes managing all of our resources in a carefully and God-centered manner.  We are expected to “steward” our time, money, family, bodies, and talents/abilities.

Likewise, we would consider a teacher that did not take care and attention in preparing lessons plans as doing less than they should.  To compare to the Parable of the Talents, they would not be using their charge and resources in a way that increases in value. Teachers are entrusted with the most valuable resource of all – the Word of God. If done correctly, the efforts of teachers encourage us to believe, understand, and apply God’s Word.  When teaching is undertaken by teachers who are good stewards, teachers are a blessing to others and the value of what they do multiplies.

Thank the Lord for our teachers!

Now, here is an application for all of us.  We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.  We are told to “do all you do as to The Lord (Colossians 3:23).”

That’s why it concerns me so much when I see our Bible class materials going unused or disregarded.  Often, teachers spend an inordinate amount of time producing extra copies of materials to cover lost or forgotten ones. Teachers prepare copies of their lesson in advance only to find that students – adults and kids–losing their class books by the second or third class period. By the midpoint of class, it is not uncommon to see more people without materials than people with materials.  An increasing number of teachers are making their materials available by email or online, but students still misplace their copies. 

Another disappointment is to see students leave their materials in the classroom or auditorium.  The work that went into preparing the lesson is not having its intended effect if the lesson is not read, the questions not answered, or the thinking and reflecting on God’s word does not happen. 

Satan has tricked us.  We “know” God’s word, so we do not need to study.  In essence, we can “wing it.”  If a teacher showed up to class with no preparation, no material, and simply made up the discussion as thoughts came to the teacher, the teacher is not stewarding. Sure, there could be engaging discussion.  There could be scriptural concepts, but there would be a poor stewardship of that which was entrusted – the very word of God.  The same is true of us as students.  When we disregard the resources provided to us and show up to class unprepared, we do God’s word a disservice and abuse the resources of our congregation. 

 So, what do we do?  Use the materials.  Keep up with them.  Steward them.  Bring them back with more value than when delivered into your care.  Enhance the classes you attend by reading the scriptures assigned, completing the lesson, and being prepared.   Make the most of that which has been entrusted to us. 

Matthew 25:20-30           The Conclusion of the Parable of the Talents

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

- Eric Hellinger