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

Be Reliable

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1 Thess. 2:8)

The "extra-mile" teacher communicates love. The effort to be reliable captures attention and impresses upon the hearts of your students that you value them. A sense of stability also develops within them as they know they can count on you not just to teach the lesson but to truly be there for them.
Students learn that you are reliable when you not only show up but . . .

R emember promises
E mploy confidentiality
L isten attentively
I  nspect supplies
A rrive on time
B e prepared
L ove unconditionally
E xtend availability

Details add up to an overall impression of a dependable teacher. Simple tasks like making sure the pencils are sharpened, having a neat supply area, and changing bulletin boards, let people know that they mean enough to you that you will take time for them.
Students will sense your integrity and support which will make them feel that you are for them. In turn they will tend to be more cooperative and open with you. A learning atmosphere ensues.

Frenzied and overcommitted lifestyles
fight against you being a reliable teacher.

Little things take time and time is something so many people seem to lack. Being available requires that you build margins into your busy schedule so you can be there if needed.

How easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking that people should be glad you at least made it, albeit five minutes late, feeling rushed, and ill-prepared. Overloaded and exhausted, you settle for less than your best.

The problem is, however, that only your best effort puts into place those qualities that convey a truly reliable teacher. Sporadic attempts do not leave an overall impression of someone who can be counted on. Being there consistently over the long haul does.
To be reliable, then, demands discipline in one’s life.

  • You need to make the time to tend to the details.
  • You must build accessibility and availability into your schedule.
  • You must guard your tongue so you do not make promises you won’t keep or betray confidences.
  • You must make the effort to be on time.

If your life is so exhausting and out of control that you can’t see how you can be more reliable, stop long enough to examine your priorities. Your schedule is not to blame. You make the choices of what to include in your daily agenda. You have the ability to say "yes" or "no" to life’s demands.
Being a reliable teacher goes beyond the effect it has on other people to an awareness that you are ultimately responsible to God for what you do. "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12).


For Teachers: The kind of discipline that enables you to be reliable is possible regardless of your personality type. Study 2 Peter 1:5-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 to learn how it is a characteristic of godliness and a fruit of the Spirit. Daily yield yourself to the Spirit’s control.

For Leaders: Examine your schedule. Do ministry tasks so consume you that you don’t have time to truly be there for your teachers? List changes you can make to be more reliable.

For Group Use: Discuss the following: What kind of impression does your Christian Education program leave on people? Can people rely on a quality education? Can they rely on accurate doctrine? Can they rely on teachers and leaders being Spirit-led?

(Last updated 05/01/18)

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