Each Sunday, our church studies through a certain passage of Scripture together. Currently we are working our way through Genesis, usually studying 1-3 chapters per week. Also, each week, someone is scheduled to facilitate our study.
Depending on who is scheduled to facilitate the study, our teaching may be more lecture-style or more discussion-style. I say “more-” because there is always discussion and dialog, even if they teacher decides to lecture. (By the way, I’m not saying this is the only way to teach. It has been very beneficial for us to do it this way.)
Last Sunday, I was scheduled to teach through Genesis 33-34. As a follower of Jesus, I have the responsibility of teaching others. And, as a teacher, I have the responsibility of equipping others to teach.
So, Sunday, I took the opportunity to do both. I asked my son Jeremy if he would be willing to teach part of Genesis 33. He agreed. So, the two of us worked on his lesson together. We read through the chapter a few times together, and we talked about it together.
Then, when he was ready to start putting together his teaching (“lesson”), I helped again by suggesting for him to think about answering two questions. He divided his lesson into two parts, with each part answering one of the two questions.
Since this was the first time he would be teaching the group, I also suggested that he write out his teaching. Often, when people first start teaching, they can become very nervous or lose their train of thought. So, by writing his lesson down, he was able to prepare what he wanted to say and then present it without being concerned about getting nervous or getting lost.
He did a great job answering the two questions. I made a few suggestions about connecting his material together. I asked if he wanted to lecture or if he wanted to ask for discussion or questions. He wanted discussion, so the two of us picked a few places in his teaching that he could stop and ask for questions or comments.
Then, I asked him to think about the two questions and answers and to think about how he would apply those to people today. He wrote out a couple of paragraphs of application.
Sunday morning, after we sang a few songs and read through some Scripture together, it was time for me to teach. I told everyone that I had asked Jeremy to help me. I reminded everyone of the background and context of Genesis 33-34 (especially the events at the end of Genesis 32), and then turned the teaching over to Jeremy.
He read through Genesis 33. Then began to read his lesson. At the appropriate time, he stopped and asked for questions or comments. He responded to those. Then, he would continue his lesson. After he finished, I continued teaching through Genesis 34.
After Jeremy finished, and before I started teaching again, someone made a comment that I’ll always remember. One of our brothers said to Jeremy, “You didn’t even have to go to seminary.” But, of course, that’s the point. If the church was training and equipping people, then seminary would not be necessary. (I’ve even hard many seminary professors make this same statement.)
So, I was excited to teach Sunday. But, even more than that, I was excited to have the opportunity to continue to equip Jeremy to teach as well.