Why teaching Scripture is a good thing to do

(even if it petrifies you!)

For many people, the very thought of teaching Scripture in schools is a terrifying one.  The reasons for that are many and varied, but usually they can be identified as:

  • A lack of confidence in our own knowledge of the Bible that makes us think we can’t teach; or
  • A lack of confidence in managing a classroom situation; or
  • A lack of confidence about teaching in a way that’s age appropriate
  • A fear of being asked a question we don’t know the answer to

For 7 years, I have taught SRE every week, yet I still find it a difficult thing to do.  For me, it’s a lack of confidence about teaching in a way that’s age appropriate, and in managing a classroom.  How has God enabled me to persist?

The aim of this article is to outline some Biblical reasons why Scripture ministry is such an important one, and to allay any fears that teaching Scripture will leave you out on a limb with no clue about what to do or how to go about it.  We have been given a wonderful opportunity by our State Government to teach in schools each week.  Under God’s leading we need to labour and strive in this ready-made harvest field.

What does the Bible say about Scripture teaching ministry?

  1. It is a vital way for us to go into the world to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)
  2. It helps us to make the most of the opportunity the government has given us by allocating a set time in the curriculum each week (Colossians 4:5)
  3. Jesus loves and welcomes children into his kingdom (Matthew 19:13-15)
  4. A huge number of Christians are converted when they’re young – it is effective
  5. It helps us to remember our dependence is on God, not on ourselves.  Therefore we go in his strength, not ours. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  6. It helps us to think through and engage with what we believe, so that we have an answer for those who ask us the reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15)
  7. Jesus tells us that living the Christian life will involve daily sacrifices.  Sometimes that means putting ourselves out for the sake of others, or doing things that take us outside our comfort zone.  Nothing takes me out of my comfort zone quite like having to teach 20 children every week. (Mark 8:34)
  8. Christ’s love compels us to do so because, in the same way he died for me, he died for the children (2 Corinthians 5:14)
  9. Most children come from non-Christian homes – how will they hear if we don’t tell them? (Romans 10:12-15)
  10. It is the most prolific week-by-week opportunity we have to proclaim Christ as Lord and Saviour
  11. Teaching others helps us grow as disciples

What help does the church provide so that we’re not left hanging on a limb by ourselves?

  • We teach from an approved curriculum.  Each term we receive lesson plans that contain teaching material, memory verses, songs, craft ideas, worksheets, and teaching tips
  • Each year we attend a teaching seminar where we learn from others who are more experienced
  • Teachers need to be accredited.  Accreditation is achieved by attending a number of training seminars which help us to think through, theologically and practically, how to teach a lesson
  • Safe ministry training
  • Within each school there is a team-teaching ethos and atmosphere.  After class we meet to debrief and pray.
  • We can begin as a helper rather than a teacher.  This will help us to acclimatize, and gradually ease our way into it.
  • If we have enough people we can team-teach.

Our conviction drives our attitude and behaviour. Do you think SRE is important? Is it fear that’s holding you back?  If it is, then what might trusting God look like in this instance?  Don’t be content in just hoping someone else will do it.  Why not speak to God about it, and ask him to convince you of its importance and that He can help you get started.  Why not also speak to one of the other experienced teachers and ask them if they can help you?  Why not go along and sit in on some classes for a term to get a proper feel for it?  From time to time God asks us to trust him by taking a step out when we’re not quite sure where it will land.  Is that what God is asking you to do today?

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed” (2 Timothy 4:17)