Elder Training Series

Session 26 - Job Duty of 'Extensively Use The Scriptures Comprehensively' - PART 4 
(NIV based)

(Repeating) NOTE:  Again perhaps it would be prudent for you to mark or highlight the items in this document that you need to work on or improve.

[Note:  The discussion in this document continues onward the discussion from the previous document, 'Session 25', in this 'Elder Training Series' about 'Extensively Use The Scriptures Comprehensively' - PART 3.]

READ:  "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..."
(2 Timothy 3:16) , and "...devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." (1 Timothy 4:13)

(Continuing) SECTION POINT Elders, overseers, and pastors have the duty before God to ensure that the Scriptures are prominently presented, explained, and applied in the messages of their church or ministry.

-- Job Duty:  Extensively Use The Scriptures Comprehensively

- - Elders, overseers, and pastors have been given the job duty by God in 1 Timothy 4:13 to "...devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching".
- - From this verse, elders, overseers, and pastors are to "pay attention to, apply [themselves] to, and adhere to" teaching the Scriptures in their church or ministry. 
(Strong's #4337)
- - And because the elders, overseers, and pastors have been pre-qualified as "able to teach"
(1 Timothy 3:2) , then this means that they are to be doing the teaching that is occurring in their church or ministry.
- - Even though due to various conditions it may not be feasible to have the elders / overseers / pastors do all of the teaching in the church or ministry, nevertheless they each are to be personally involved in doing some of the teaching.
- - And by implication pertaining to their God-given leadership position, they are to be training and monitoring other true believers to be doing the remainder of the teaching that it is not feasible for the elders / overseers / pastors to be doing.

- - "Teaching" involves "to disclose, make known, or provide knowledge or skill; to give instruction in; to enable to understand". 
(AHD - 'teach', from Strong's #1319 in 1 Timothy 4:13)
- - Therein, teaching can be described as primarily a matter of and function of dispensing information of the Scriptures, with understandability, thoroughness, clarity, and application.
- - Definitely, the teacher needs to be researched, studied, and well-prepared to give a lesson on a (selected) Scripture verse, following the recommended guidelines as described in previous 'Sessions 23', '24', and parts of '25' in this 'Elder Training Series'.

- - The 'lecture' style is probably the most common delivery approach to teaching, wherein the teacher presents the lesson material while the listeners remain silent.
- - After the lesson has been fully delivered, and if time allows, questions and comments from the listeners can be vocalized, and then addressed by the teacher.
- - This 'lecture' approach is necessary when maintaining order and crowd control are difficult (or worse), such as with children, pre-teenagers, some teenager groups, and larger-sized groups.
- - A significant and difficult challenge with this 'lecture' approach is to establish and then hold the attention and interest of the listeners, because failure in this regard results in very little attention and very little interest equal very little learning of the material.

- - Another delivery approach is the 'discussion' style, wherein the teacher asks questions to be discussed by the group, while at times strategically integrating specific content information into the discussion to facilitate the discussion in moving in the direction and arriving at making the points that the teacher wants for that lesson.
-- This 'discussion' approach can effectively:
- - - - stimulate thinking, processing, and discovery of biblical truths and doctrines;
- - - - stimulate group processing and building off of what someone else has stated, that leads to successful answer-finding in the Scriptures;
- - - - encourage verbal interactions, even from listeners who prefer to be silent;
- - - - foster clarification and understanding, because the group persons are encouraged to verbalize their thinking, as the group is processing the questions from the teacher;
- - - - create an engaging experience that is both memorable and edifying for the group persons.
- - This 'discussion' approach works well when the group exhibits discipline in proper group discussion etiquette.

-- Some challenges with the 'discussion' approach are:
- - - - on-the-fly generating distinct logic/reasoning questions that guide the group to head in the direction and then reach the conclusions that the teacher desires for that lesson;
- - - - generating these questions that are at the level of the group persons - in other words, not too easy so as to be insulting to the group, not too difficult so as to be impossible for the group to ascertain, not too broad or vague so as to be diverting and/or time-wasting;
- - - - in the midst of facilitating the discussion of the group, the teacher simultaneously needs to be listening closely to what they are saying in the discussion, and how they are processing and answering the teacher's questions, in order to generate the next question;
- - - - care needs to be diligently exercised not to be perceived as depreciating an incorrect or insufficient answer from a group person;
- - - - there is a significant need to cut short the comments of someone in the group who is hogging the conversation and/or wanders off topic and/or rambles on senselessly, therein hindering some of the other persons in the group from participating in and contributing to the discussion;
- - - - it is difficult to manage how much content of the teacher's lesson is covered in this unpredictable discourse within the timeframe for that meeting.

- - Other options to delivering a teaching lesson are to use already-prepared Bible lessons, or printed curriculum, or video lessons
[Note:  On this ministry web-site, www.BelieverAssist.com , there are available for download numerous Bible lesson (or sermon) outlines and ministry training documents (in English, or Spanish, or some in Portuguese) that are all free, with copyright permission and usage granted.  The Bible lessons include lesson questions that are designed to facilitate group thinking, discussion, investigation, analyses, discovery, and learning.]
- - Typically in churches and ministries, there are people other than the leadership who are doing teaching, and therein they likely have low amounts of teaching training, teaching experience, developed teaching skills, and knowledge of the Scriptures.
- - So, utilizing already-prepared lessons may be necessary for those people until their teaching deficiencies are resolved.

-- In conjunction with preaching, and teaching, and extensively using the Scriptures comprehensively within all of the activities and programs of churches and ministries, elders, overseers, and pastors are to incorporate other dynamics into those various types of preaching and teaching activities, such as:
- - - - "command and teach these things"
(1 Timothy 4:11) , meaning "to direct or impose with authority and emphasis" certain command-type elements that are contained within a (selected) Scripture verse, as it is being taught or preached; (AHD - 'enjoin', from Strong's #3853)
- - - - "command" 'certain persons to do... (this or that)', meaning to specifically target and command certain persons not to do the sinful behavior they are doing, and to instead do the righteous behavior that God instructs in the (selected) Scripture verse of the teaching or preaching; 
(for example, vv.17,18 in 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
- - - - "point out" things, meaning "to suggest", or highlight, or draw attention to certain realities relating to the (selected) Scripture verse of the teaching or preaching, in order to enlighten, or inform, or facilitate understanding, or make wise the listeners; 
(for example, v.6 in 1 Timothy 4:1-6; Strong's #5294 in v.6)
- - - - "keep reminding them of these things"
(2 Timothy 2:14) , meaning "to remind quietly; to suggest so as to bring up in their memory", or "to put in mind so as to cause [them] to remember" something that is important, or relevant to, or relating to the (selected) Scripture verse of the teaching or preaching;  (Strong's #5279; AHD - 'remind')
- - - - "...stress these things..."
(Titus 3:8) , meaning "to confirm thoroughly; to strongly affirm"; "to emphasize, accentuate, drive home, put special weight upon because" the elements and aspects of the (selected) Scripture verse of the teaching "are considered important";  (Strong's #1226 in Titus 3:8, and in the context of v.3:1 "remind the people to..."; AHD -'stress')
- - - - "admonish", which is "to voice or convey disapproval of or find fault with" and/or "prove to be wrong or in error", that is contained in "instruction" (or teaching) that is "patient" and "gentle, but earnest"; 
(Strong's #1651 in 2 Timothy 4:2, with AHD - 'admonish', 'confute')
- - - - "warn them before God against..."
(2 Timothy 2:14) , meaning that within the teaching or preaching of a (selected) Scripture verse, "to solemnly testify" to them and "give notice" to them "in the presence of" God that they are not to do... (this or that);  (Strong's #1263, #1799; AHD - 'warn')
- - - - "...must gently instruct"
(v.25 in 2 Timothy 2:24-26) , meaning "to teach or educate" with "gentleness, meekness, and humility", which in essence is an approach of gentle persuasion (Strong's #3811 and #4236 in v.25)
- - - - "...in your teaching show (or "present") integrity (or "purity, incorruptibleness"), seriousness (or "sensibleness", "worthiness of respect") and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned"
(Titus 2:7b-8a; Strong's #3930; #0090 and #0861; #4587 with AHD - 'venerableness')
- - - - "...do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord ("Christ Jesus")..." and the "evidence given" about Him within the Scriptures; 
(2 Timothy 1:8; from v.1:2; Strong's #3142 in v.1:8)
- - - - customize the teaching to match and specifically address the kind of persons who comprise the audience, for examples: "teach the older men to..."
(Titus 2:2) ; "...teach the older women to..." (v.2:3) ; "...train the younger women to..." (v.2:4) ; "exhort" "the young men to..." (Strong's #3870 in v.2:6) ;
- - - - in the teaching, include explanations and definitions specifically-designed for any non-believer in the audience, because his/her lack of possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit hinders him/her from "...accepting the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him/her, and he/she cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned"
(v.14 in 1 Corinthians 2:12-15) ; in reality, the things being taught from the Scriptures are "...words taught by the Spirit, [being and] expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words" (v.13) .


- - As an elder, overseer, pastor, or ministry leader, are you prepared, and equipped, and proficient, and ready, and eager, and committed to teaching the Scriptures?  On every occasion that you are speaking before a group of people?
- - Do your teaching lessons contain the various applicable qualities and elements that are cited in previous Sessions 23-25 and this Session 26 of this 'Elder Training Series'?  If not, have you identified areas or items that you are definitely going to improve?
- - Are you competent in your teaching of the Scriptures?  Or instead, do you need to take some Bible college courses that will bring your teaching up to a competent level?
- - Does your teaching approach, content, and terminology match the age group you are teaching?
- - In your teaching, do you genuinely possess a fullness of love, compassion, gentleness, kindness, patience, and forbearance for every person in your group? 
(Galatians 5:22-23)
- - Do you consistently devote a sufficient amount of time and effort in the preparation of each lesson?  Or instead, do you typically barely prepare and then proceed to ad-lib its presentation?

- - In your teaching, do you make a conscious effort to include explanations that will assist the understanding of the non-believers in your group?
- - In your church or ministry, are other true believers being trained and monitored to do the remainder of the teaching that is not feasible for the elders / overseers / pastors to be doing?

Works Cited:
The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., ver. 3.6a (CD-ROM). Cambridge, MA: SoftKey International Inc., 1994.

Bible. “The Holy Bible: New International Version.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

“Strong's Greek Dictionary.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.
Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
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