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Teaching Workshop: The Essence of Teaching

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in discipleship | 4 comments

Teaching Workshop: The Essence of Teaching

Over the next few weeks, I’m planning to lead a “Teaching Workshop” for the church on Sunday mornings. We’ll work through a few passages of Scripture and discuss together what those passages say about teaching and teachers.

This is not a workshop about how to put together a teaching outline or how to study commentaries or other reference materials. Instead, we will discuss a broad and general view of teaching through Scripture. I hope that this workshop will be helpful for people teaching in any context.

This is the general outline that I plan to use for this workshop:

Part 1: Who Teaches?
Part 2: The Motivations for Teaching
Part 3: The Essence of Teaching
Part 4: Teaching When the Church Gathers

For each week’s workshop, I plan to put together a short worksheet to guide our discussion. This is the worksheet for the first week’s session. This lesson will be called “Part 3: The Essence Teaching.” From the perspective of Scripture, what does it mean to teach?

Feel free to discuss or ask questions in the comments.


Teaching Workshop

Part 3: The Essence of Teaching

For this session of the workshop on teaching in Scripture, we’ll consider the following question: What does it mean to teach from the perspective of Scripture? The authors of Scripture say very little about how to teach. However, there are many passage that help us understand WHAT to teach.

I recommend reading the following passages so that you will know the context and background of the specific parts that we will discuss together. As you read, pay attention to the context as well as what the author says teaching: Matthew 23:1-36; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 10:25-37; Philippians 4:8-9; Colossians 1:15-23, 3:1-25; Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-17; Titus 2:1-10; 1 Peter 1:3-12, 13-21; 3 John 9-12; Jude 10-13

I. The Negative Example of the Jewish Religious Leaders

From Jesus reaction to the Jewish religious leaders, we can learn what teaching is NOT. Many of Jesus’ words against them relates directly to their teaching. (Matthew 23:1-36; See also 3 John 9-12 and Jude 10-13)

II. The Great Commission

Just before Jesus ascended to the right-hand of the Father, the told his followers to disciple others. This includes teaching… but teaching what? (Matthew 28:18-20)

III. How do we Teach Obedience?

In Scripture, the primary way of teaching obedience is by modeling obedience, that is, by sharing your life with others so you can learn from each other’s example. (Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Timothy 3:1-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

IV. Teaching may include Sharing Information

We often begin teaching with information about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, mankind, etc. (Colossians 1:15-12; 1 Peter 1:3-12)

V. But Teaching Cannot Stop with Sharing Information

But, we should understand that our teaching cannot stop there. (Colossians 3:1-25; 1 Peter 1:13-21)

VI. Teaching Includes Very Practical Information About Our Way of Life

Doctrine (teaching, instruction) includes practical aspects about our way of life in Christ as much as it includes facts about God. (1 Timothy 6:2b-10; Titus 2:1-10)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-18-2012

    Jesus’ response to the disciples request, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1-13) seems helpful. (Alan posted something about that passage a week or so ago and it’s been stuck in my mind since.)

    1. Jesus didn’t so much provide a model prayer (knowing/yet-another-ology) as He was a model of prayer they wanted to emulate (doing/observing).

    They saw Jesus praying (often), so he set an example. They knew J the B had taught his disciples “how to” pray, and they asked Jesus to teach them. What I find interesting, is that Jesus already had taught them a good deal on prayer in Matthew 6 when contrasting the practices of hypocrites with what He expected of us (about a year and a half earlier). So, while He did teach on prayer, He was also an example of a man who consistently prays. Eventually, they wanted to know HOW-TO pray. So, the passing on obedience “doing” was provided at the learner’s request, and when the learner was hungry for more than simply information–they wanted to know HOW TO do it.

    This kind of learner-teacher interaction that leads to doing (rather than just accumulating knowledge) requires a great deal of time spent together. Unfortunately, in our culture of assembly-line thinking, this investment is considered inefficient.

    2. In Matthew He taught them what not to do (empty, self-glorification–hypocrisy). In Luke, he taught them:

    a) 11:2-4 range of content (which relates pretty well to the issues in Matt 6)

    b) 11:5-10 that God hears their prayers

    c) 11:11-13 that God is good and will provide them with good gifts.

    d) defines good gifts as “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” rather than things.

  2. 1-19-2012


    Thanks for your thoughts on this topic! Will you be able to share them with us this weekend?


  3. 1-19-2012

    Looking forward to joining you folks this week. Really enjoyed being with you for the first week of the series.

  4. 1-19-2012


    Awesome! I looking forward to spending time with you two again.