What are the qualities that make an effective Bible class teacher for children or teens? Bible knowledge may come to mind or having the gift of teaching. Surprisingly, there are some other aspects that may be almost as important.
Studies have found that the way a teacher interacts with young people when teaching – in our case, the Bible, matters. Teachers that come across as authoritative lecturers seeking only to do a “knowledge dump” on students were not nearly as impactful as the teachers students felt were engaged in more of a conversation with them about the material being taught. Studies also found that teachers students felt were passionate about the topic were also more impactful. After all, why would your students want to obey God, serve others or engage with scripture when it’s obvious you are not that excited about doing those things yourself?
It is also no surprise that students were more open to learning from teachers who truly cared about them. Asking students about their thoughts and emotions on the topic or asking them whether or not they were truly understanding what they were being taught also conveyed the teacher cared about students. The most impactful teachers also were willing to invest extra time and energy in students who were struggling in some way.
These studies really shouldn’t surprise us. If you think about the qualities of a master teacher, they are the same qualities Jesus exhibited as he taught while on earth. As always, mirroring our behavior on that of Jesus leads to being more impactful in ministry.