Be-Attitudes for Teachers: A Devotional for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

Be Prepared

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage --with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2)

The scout motto, "be prepared," when put into practice, has helped those in a pinch and has even saved lives. As a teacher you can expect the unexpected. And, you are in the business of seeing lives saved. Certainly if you adopted the scout motto, you would find your teaching to be more effective.
First, "be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have" (1 Pet. 3:15). "Do your best to present yourself to God as one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). -- Know your lesson well. Devote adequate time to study.
Second, be ready to help your students both in and out of the classroom. 2 Timothy 4:2 words it, "be prepared in season and out of season." This will require foresight in keeping flexibility in your schedule. If you truly want to reach your students, you may need to be there for them throughout the week in crisis situations or as counsel is needed. If you have every minute of your week blocked off in a tight schedule, you won't be available when the need arises.
Finally, take care to be prepared in the small ways as well. This includes having supplies on hand, arriving on time ready to greet students as they arrive, knowing special dates, keeping aware of students' accomplishments, and so on. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 teaches that what you do with the least of that with which you have been entrusted, does matter. God uses your faithfulness in these matters to judge whether you are ready for His bigger assignments.
You may readily agree with the need to be prepared. After all, it communicates worth to your students and it honors God. Living it out, however, becomes a bit more challenging. Busy lifestyles tend to mean doing things at the last minute and in a hurried fashion. Consequently, you may often find yourself living in the world of good intentions.
To get beyond, you must consciously do two things.

First, you must anticipate and plan ahead.

Learn from the ant.

Learn from the ant. "It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" (Prov. 6:7-8). The ant doesn't wait to be told what to do. It takes initiative to work ahead to be prepared for winter needs. The ant is aware of the changing seasons and acts accordingly. What the ant knows by instinct, certainly the human mind can discern with a bit of thought.

Second, you must know your priorities and live by them.

You must learn to say "no." If you are not careful, other people will quickly use your time for you, leaving you holding the bag of important tasks left undone. Also, you need to focus on that which counts for eternity. The pursuit of careers and material goods can consume a lot of time. Jesus said to, "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matt. 6:33).

Failure to be prepared will eventually catch up with you. You may think you are going along okay but it could suddenly hit you how ineffective you have become. Proverbs 6:10 says, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man." In reality, laziness may not be the reason you are unprepared but rather busyness. The results, however, will be the same.


For Teachers: Write a motto for yourself as a teacher. Include in it your commitment to be prepared and what you will do to live out that commitment. Post the motto where you will be sure to see it.

For Leaders: Make a list of ways you can model this lesson such as getting curriculum to your teachers in good timing, being ready for staff meetings, etc. Take time to anticipate what needs could lie ahead and work toward that end. List your God-given priorities and work at keeping them.

For Group Use: After completing the devotional, discuss how you can be better prepared as a team to meet the needs in today's church. Ask them to stretch beyond the here and now and anticipate what needs may be around the corner. Brainstorm how you might be ready to meet those needs.

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(Last updated 10/01/16)

Benefit from more of these devotionals for Bible Teachers:

Be-Attitudes for Teachers
for Teachers