Tomorow is the last teaching day of my two-week module on the book of Revelation at Baptist Bible College of the Caribbean. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with students, and take an in-depth look at Scriputures teaching of end-times.
While class has gone very well, Monday and Tuesday this week could have been better. The class just felt “dead” on those days lacking the normal energy, discussion, and interaction. Monday I figured it had to do with students ministering over the weekend at church, but when Tuesday was dead, I knew something was wrong.
It didn’t take me long to figure out the problem……..
I had fallen into the bad habit of sharing truth instead of applying truth
We were slightly behind in the notes so I made an effort to get through as many pages as possible to catch up. The good news is we did cover lots of material on Monday and Tuesday, the bad news is that material made little impact upon the students lives. To put it simply, I impacted the head by giving information, but didn’t impact the heart by applying that information to their daily life.
The result of this teaching style is a head thats filled with Bibical knowledge, but little of it is being lived out. The problem with that is we are called to make disciples who live out the truths of Scripture, and daily become more like Christ. So truth must impact the heart as well as the head.
With that in mind I came home yesterday afternoon and made some changes to the class that ensured their hearts were being ministered to:
- The remaining notes were streamlined to emphasize the major truth of the passage (removed about eight pages)
- I sat very close to the students with an open Bible during class, this helps keep their attention, and encourages discussion
- I purposely added points that could be applied to our current culture
- And moved at a much slower pace through the material, allowing students to think through the material, and formulate questions
- Today when class ended students were still debating events surrounding the Great White Throne in loud animated tones which brought a smile to my face.
Sadly the emphasis on ministering to our heads (transfer of truth) and not our hearts (application of truth) continues outside of the classroom. In fact it takes place in many churches, and daily Bible readings! Countless belivers approach the Word of God and observe truth (ministering to their heads) then don’t do the hard work of meditating upon that truth, and applying it to life (ministering to the heart).
There are many answers to this problem, but I personally feel the best one is personal discipleship.
A one on one Bible study with a mature Believer is an excellent way to impact you heart with Scripture. This personal teaching relationship allows them to explain the Word of God carefully, answer questions, and give specific ways you can apply that particular truth to life. It also helps you stop and THINK about Scripture.
I’m grateful that the Lord reminded me this week impacting lives with God’s truth is more important than finishing the notes. And discipleship that affects the heart is far better than material that just impacts the head.