How To Teach For Life Change

It is a main purpose of Bible teaching –

see II Timothy 3:16.


Before the lesson, and in general, personal


  1. Embrace the Bible as the revealed word and truth of God.  This brings high respect and trust as you prepare.
  2. Decide that your purpose is to explain the one meaning of the text, what God meant when He had it written.  There may be several applications, but only one meaning.
  3. With the help of the Spirit, be sure your own heart is clean to teach more effectively.
  4. Know the sinfulness of the human heart.  People really need what you are going to teach if it is God’s word.
  5. Pray regularly for help to see and teach the real meaning of the Scriptures, and that God’s Spirit and truth will change lives.

Before the lesson, relationally

  1.   Love and pastor the people you teach, and show it.  Your approachability and mingling and interest in others will help them listen to you.  They will know you are in this for their good, not selfish reasons
  2. Be a person known for graces and love of Christ – also called the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22, 23).  While that of course is for all Christians, teachers are especially responsible (James 3:1).  And students will listen more carefully to a teacher they respect and honor.

During the lesson

Appeal to the consciences of your students

          Appeal to guilt:

  “You know you should do this.”

  “So many Christians neglect this.”

 “God will not bless you if you do not…”

         Appeal to conscience:

  “Isn’t this what you really want for your life?”

  The reason God wants this for us is clear…


Point to the Bible regularly.  Even physically and deliberately point to the verse is to remind the listeners where you are getting this.

Show what the verse or thought would mean for the listeners in the early church before you start to apply it to today’s world.

Make sure what you are teaching hits your own heart first.  The goal is clear:

                  of God                                 of you                              of listener

It is not that we need more than one “appearance” of a command to make it primary for us, but often different verses add reasons to obey or consequences for the opposite.

Support the verses with the teaching of parallel or related verses.

Use examples from your own life as you show what the verses mean.What does this look like

Use examples, real-life stories, from the real world where your listeners live as you proceed.

Make a clear difference between what the Bible says and what is your opinion about the meaning or application of a verse.  If you are as emphatic on your personal opinions as you are on what is clear in Scripture, you will play down the authority of what God says (I Peter 4:10, 11).

Repeat and review as you teach.  Repetition can help the heart.

Occasionally remind everyone how hard or “unnatural” many commands are.  We need strength    ; we need a Savior!   (“Preach the gospel to yourself every day.”). We need to abide in Christ.

Assign or present some very specific projects that apply to your text.  For instance:ü

A lesson on love for others:  Urge them to do something for someone they do not like, or take some time to work “action love” for someone.ü 

A lesson on trust in the sovereignty of God:  Ask them to write and pray a prayer of worshipful trust on God.ü 

A lesson on prayer:  Urge a time to pray every day, and a time to pray together as a family at least three times that week.ü 

A lesson on salvation:  Urge them to write out what really happened on the cross, in 50 words, or a response to the statement, “You have to be perfect to go to heaven.”

After the lesson1.     

  1. Teach the same people regularly.  The consistent love and truth from the same person can b most effective.
  2. Ask if small discipleship groups that rise out of your ABF can discuss and apply at least one strong or open-ended question from your text.  Going at the Biblical truth in a medium-sized ABF (8-80 in size) and also in a small discipleship setting (3-7 in size) can be very healthy.  The small group will allow very personal discussion and personal admissions.
  3. ABFs and other groups often sent brief weekly emails to remind of class needs or events.  Even a brief question addressing the last Sunday’s lesson can help with life application and change.
  4. Review next week.  Ask for stories on how anyone applied last week.
  5. Pray.  The last is the first.
  6. Trust the Word to be true and effective.   It will work for sure– Isaiah 55:10, 11.  It will get to the conscience — Hebrews 4:12, 13.