Improve your Bible teaching

Improve your Bible teaching

 When I was a new Bible teacher, I remember thinking, “I want to get better at this!” At that point I only had a little bit of training and I didn’t have many models of solid female Bible teachers in my local church. To be honest, despite being a Bible teacher for 15 years now, I still think, “I want to get better at this.”

I could tell you about the numerous tools and ministries and educational institutions that help us improve as Bible teachers (I work for one such organization). I have found all of them beneficial to my growth as a teacher of Scripture, and they continue to serve me in valuable ways today. I recommend them often.

But there is one thing that has consistently provided more ‘bang for its buck’ than anything else when it comes to improving my Bible teaching: reading through the Bible every year.

Why read through the Bible?

If you are a Bible teacher, you need to know the book you’re teaching. It’s common sense that you’ll be a better teacher of a book if you’ve read it cover to cover. You wouldn’t teach Catcher in the Rye in an English Literature class without reading the whole book. Same with Scripture. It is one story—from Genesis to Revelation—about God’s unfolding plan of redemption in Jesus Christ. It is important to know the whole book.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to master the whole book completely before you can ever teach the Bible. But the more you read, the more you will master the material, and the more skilled you’ll be.

I remember when I first read through the Bible. I had lots of questions. I didn’t remember everything. Some passages I understood more than others. But then I read through the Bible a second time and then a third time. And I found the more I read it through from start to finish, the more I understood. The compound effect of reading through the Bible multiple times shows in my increasing ability to understand Scripture.

How to read through the Bible

Find a plan to help you read the whole Bible in 365 days. I like a flexible plan that takes one (or two) days off a week and that provides readings in the OT and NT every day for variety. I also like plans that have me reading only two books at a time, so I can keep track of what I’m reading. Remember, the goal is to increase your understanding of Scripture and how the Bible fits together.

While it’s a popular time to start, of course you don’t have to wait until January 1. Start today! Read three or four chapters a day and you’ll be done in 12 months. Or take two years to complete it by reading just two chapters a day. If you’re feeling motivated, I know people who complete the Bible with 90-day reading plans. For me, a benefit of reading the Bible from January 1 to December 31 is that it puts me on a regular reading pattern to read through the Bible every year. But don’t let that stop you from starting the habit now. 

If you’ve had this idea before but have never been able to stick with the task of reading through the whole Bible, check out the course Six Steps to Reading Your Bible. It will give you (and others, if you get them alongside you!) the motivation to establish an enjoyable Bible reading habit which will lead to improved Bible teaching.

Colleen McFadden

Colleen McFadden trains women Bible teachers with the Charles Simeon Trust and serves as the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church, Trinity Community Church, just outside Philadelphia. Colleen earned an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and she serves on the board of Matthias Media, a ministry dedicated to raising up and resourcing disciple-makers.
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