Tip#1 For Bible Study Teachers
The pastor was hurrying to the service, and passed two young men in the hall.
“How are you guys”? He asked jovially.
One of them mumbled a response, but the pastor was in a hurry.
“That’s great!” He glibly replied as he rushed to the worship center.
Later that day the pastor received a text from one of the men he had greeted in the hallway that morning.
“You may want to follow up with Jimmie,” he wrote. “Jimmie’s best friend was killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday, and he tried to tell you in the hall but you didn’t hear him!” The pastor immediately picked up the phone to call Jimmie, but the damage was done…he hadn’t listened to Jimmie’s response in the hall, and missed an opportunity to minister to him in his grief.
The single most important aspect of being an effective teacher is knowing and loving your students. You have probably heard the statement,
“ They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Here are some practical tips on developing relationships with your students:
- Greet each student as they come into the classroom
- Call each student during the week. As your class grows, you will want to assign care group leaders who will call their groups each week, and you will call each care group leader weekly. You should still call each student once a quarter.
- Take students to lunch. Male teachers take male students, ladies take ladies.
- Have students in your home, either as families, individuals or small groups.
- Visit them if they are in the hospital
- Learn the names of your students’ children (if applicable)
- Say goodbye to each student individually as they leave class
You will notice that in each instance listed above, you are going beyond the student/teacher relationship and developing friendships. Your students will remember the relationship long after they have forgotten the theme of your lessons! It is on the basis of your friendship with them that they will call you when they need counsel, lean on you when they are moving through challenging circumstances, and seek your spiritual guidance when they have questions.
I received a call from the church office that little Brian had broken his arm, and was on his way to the emergency room. Brian’s parents were in my Life Group, so I immediately dropped what I was working on and drove to the hospital. When I arrived, I was ushered into an emergency room area where Brian and his folks were waiting for the doctor. I spent a few minutes, prayed with the family and offered further assistance if it was needed, and slipped out. Years later I was having a conversation with Brian’s dad, and it wasn’t my lesson plans or teaching style that was the subject of discussion, it was the time I visited them in the hospital when they were worried and afraid. Never underestimate the value of developing relationships with your students.