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

Be Disciplined

Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16)

In a given week your students spend 10,080 minutes eating, sleeping, relaxing, and engaging in all sorts of activities. You, as a Bible teacher, are privileged only about sixty of those minutes. That is less than .6% of each pupil's time per week. The conclusion? --Make every minute count!

Time to Learn is Short

Consider the following scenario:

With supplies on hand, the room invitingly arranged, and visuals strategically placed, Jack warmly greets his students. He guides them into fellowship and activities which set the stage for learning. Class officially begins. A well-planned session smoothly flows along with only minor changes made to meet current needs. Students eagerly participate in activities geared to their abilities. Jack uses the last ten minutes to aid students in discovering ways of applying the lesson to their personal lives. The bell rings. Students gradually leave and he gathers his belongings. As Jack drives home, he reflects on the events of the morning. He plans to contact those not in attendance and pray for each member. He anticipates studying once again for the next week.

Oh to be so disciplined. "Me??? Maybe if I had more time. Maybe if . . . "  Good teaching takes time, planning, organization, and effort. The key that unlocks the door to such a disciplined life is time-management  -- setting priorities, scheduling, and saying no when no must be said.
For this one needs divine enablement. Galatians 5:22-23 refers to self-control as a fruit of the Spirit. In 2 Peter 1:3-7 it is listed as a characteristic of godliness. In various passages dealing with the use of time, the word "wisdom" frequently appears within the context. For example, Ephesians 5:15-16 implies that those who manage time well are wise. Since God is the source of wisdom, there is hope for everyone, even those who consider themselves naturally undisciplined. Remember James 1:5 which says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."


For Teachers: Write your own scenario of a typical teaching experience for you. Try to analyze it in light of how it reflects a disciplined versus a non-disciplined life. Stop and pray about specific concerns. Yield your life to the control of the Spirit. Then develop a schedule for the coming week whereby you will manage your time to permit sufficient time for preparation. Detail the schedule for the hour prior to and including the teaching session.

For Leaders: Disciple your teachers in this area, especially new or prospective teachers. Work through time-management skills with them, showing them how to prepare. Oh yes, this assumes you are a disciplined leader. Be an example of one who asks God for wisdom and who yields to the Spirit. You will need to let this devotional reach into your own heart first before you can truly help others with it.

For Group Use: Have volunteers act out two teaching situations, one which runs smoothly and the other depicting signs of disorganization and lack of control. Discuss what the major difference between the two scenarios would be, guiding the discussion toward the quality of discipline within the one and the lack thereof in the other. From there provide some tips on time management.

(Last updated 1/01/19)

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