Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 23, 1964
NUMBER 11, PAGE 2n10b-11a

Training Teachers For Adult Classes - (II.)

Lloyd Moyer

In the first article of this treatise we discussed various aspects of the problems involved in teaching an adult class. We continue the study now by looking at some of the qualifications that go into the making of an effective instructor for such a class:

The Teacher 1 — It would be impossible to over-emphasize the importance of the Bible school teacher and especially the teacher of the adult class. This teacher will have to face more false doctrine than the preacher and elders combined. Because his class will be composed of many people who have been converted out of denominationalism, they will bring into the class many of their sectarian ideas.

2 — A COMPLETE AND THOROUGH KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD. Since he will come face to face with these false doctrines, he MUST know what God's word teaches. (II Tim. 2:15; 2:2)

3 — Diplomatic. Many new converts have been discouraged from taking part in class work because of poor judgment of teachers. Some have been lost because of this. The teacher must be tactful in dealing with the ideas and questions of the class. Never allow yourself to become impatient or angry. Be gentle, kind and at the same time firm.

4 — General background. I mean by this a knowledge of those subjects which are directly related to the work of teaching the word of God. 1 — Grammar. 2 — Ancient History. 3 — Bible Geography. 4 — Customs. 5 — Church History. 6 — Current Religious Events.

5 — A Faithful Life. The teacher must "practice what he preaches." He will lose the respect of the class if his life is not righteous. Regardless of how well qualified a person may be in other respects, if his life is not in harmony with the gospel of Christ; he should not be allowed to teach.

6 — He must be studious. Many teachers have lost their effectiveness because of a failure to continue to study. They depend on what knowledge they have to carry them through. As a result they lose their enthusiasm and their teaching suffers.

7 — He must be mentally alert. Be able to grasp an argument quickly. And to determine, in most instances, immediately whether or not a thing is true. The teacher MUST be able to stay AHEAD of the class.

8 — Executive ability. The successful teacher must be able to control, direct and manage the class. The teacher who loses control of his class will never be as effective as he should be if he has the ability to control and direct. Caution should be used here. The teacher must control the class in such a way that the class does not realize that he is doing so. He cannot use the "first sergeant" type of management.

9 — A pleasing personality. This will help him much. No teacher should depend on a pleasing personality but he should be the type of person who does NOT antagonize people.

10 — The successful teacher must be willing to sacrifice. First, he must sacrifice time in order that he may study the word of God and related subjects. Secondly, he must be willing to sacrifice pleasures which this life has to offer. Not ALL pleasures are sinful; all Christians must avoid the ones which are sinful. But the teacher will find that there are pleasures which are perfectly alright that he must avoid because of his position of influence. (Rom. 14:15-23; I Cor. 8:1-13)

11 — Must be considerate of those in the class. Consider their feelings Their religious background and knowledge. Even their prejudices. He must give consideration to their questions. Deal with the questions in a thorough manner: Never answer a question in such a way as to make the one who asks it look ridiculous.

12 — The wise teacher is the patient teacher. Never become impatient with a student or with the class.

13 — Kindness and gentleness is a must. This does not mean that the teacher cannot be firm. Yet, in his firmness he must always be kind.

14 — The teacher must be humble and meek. Many times this attribute is lacking in teachers, especially those teachers who have a great deal of knowledge. They tend to be egotistical. They should study 1 Peter 3:15.

There are many other qualities which are desirable in the ideal teacher but I refer you to the lesson dealing with the qualifications of the Bible School Teacher. I shall leave the qualities of the teacher and now deal with some of the extra work which is demanded of the teacher of the adult class.


A — Since there will be Baptists, Methodists, etc. in the class the wise teacher will do some study on the doctrines of these religious bodies and any others which may come up for discussion in the class. Secure copies of the creeds or articles of faith of each of these religious bodies. Many people do not know what these groups teach and may think the teacher is misrepresenting them unless he quotes from their official book.

B — Church History. Purchase a reliable history of the various churches. It takes much time and patience to get fixed in your mind the events of "church history." I do not suggest that church history be taught as a subject, but the good teacher of the adult class will have a working knowledge of the subject.

C — Getting to know your class. This can best be done by visiting in the home of the pupils. Observe the type of literature in the home, the manners, attitudes and reactions of those in the home. Make a card file of all knowledge gained and impressions received in each home. Consult this file regularly in order that you may prepare lessons that will benefit the most students in the class. Never take advantage of anyone in the class. But so arrange the subject material that they will get the point. For example, a lesson on the need of GOOD literature in the home and the influence of the wrong kind. Sometimes a lesson on cleanliness is in order. Many homes need to be reminded of the need of love in the home; or kindness. etc.

Teacher And Elder Relationship

A — Elders are to have the oversight of the Bible school work of the church.

B — The teacher must respect the "rule" of the elders. (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Peter 5:2)

C — The teacher will do well to meet with and seek the advise of the elders. Discuss the long-range program of teaching to be done in the congregation.

The Teacher And Preacher Relationship

A — The preacher plays a leading part in the teaching program of the church.

B — If the preacher and the teacher of the adult class are always crossing each other in scriptural points the class will likely lose respect for one or both. Therefore, it is good for the teacher and the preacher to have regular study periods together on the material to be taught.

Teacher Training Programs

A — Take advantage of every opportunity to attend teacher training programs. Learn new and interesting ways to present the truth. Vary your methods. This will stimulate interest.

B — Purchase all the latest material on the subject of teaching.

C — Visit churches which have a successful Bible school and talk with the teacher of the adult class. Talk with some of his pupils and determine what they consider to be his strong points in teaching.

Recognize Limitations

A — Every teacher must realize that he Is weak in some points of teaching. When he recognizes this fact and is willing to do something about it, he is well on his way to becoming a great teacher. Work hard to improve in all points but especially in the weak spots.

B — Ask for help. ( I once had a speech teacher in my class. I asked him to take notes on me and help me correct my errors.) A lawyer can help you in your argumentation.

C — Never attempt to answer a question unless you know the answer. It is much better to say, "I don't know," than to have to retract a statement of error.


There are many things that could be said about the teacher for the adult class. However, we shall let this suffice at this time. I would urge every teacher to STUDY, STUDY. First, the BIBLE, Then related subjects. And then, study your class. As I have already mentioned, study the lesson until you get hold of it; then study the lesson until it gets hold of you and then you are ready to try to teach it to others.

— 41325 Kathlean, Fremont, California