Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual


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They declare to the chief priests that they obey God rather than men. Gamaliel counsels the Pharisees not to kill the Apostles. If you use the attention activity, arrange to have two people come into the classroom before class starts, while class members are settling down. If possible, these should be people who do not normally attend your class. Have them enter the room, do something briefly for example, speak with you or carry something into the room , and then leave.

“Give Us Strength According to Our Faith … in Christ”

They should not speak to class members or call attention to themselves. Suggestion for teaching: Teachers must testify that what they teach is true. Testify of Jesus Christ and his gospel whenever the Spirit prompts you, not just at the end of the lesson. Bearing testimony brings power to your teaching. As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson. If any class members noticed, have them tell what they observed about the people, such as who they were, what they were wearing, and what they did.

Point out that the class members who saw these visitors are witnesses. If no one noticed the visitors, tell what they did and explain that you are a witness. A person who sees or experiences an event and tells others about it is a witness. When they testified of him, many people believed them and were baptized into the Church. As you teach the following scripture passages, emphasize the faith and power with which the Apostles testified of the resurrected Lord. Discuss with class members how they too can be witnesses of Jesus Christ. Discuss Acts 1. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud.

Display the picture of the Ascension. Just before he returned to his Father in Heaven, what did he promise his Apostles they would soon receive? See Acts —5 ; see also Luke Point out that although the Apostles had experienced manifestations of the Holy Ghost, they had not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost. What did Jesus tell the Apostles they were to do after they received the gift of the Holy Ghost?

See Acts How does this instruction compare with the responsibility given to Apostles today? Note, for example, some of the powerful testifying recorded in Acts 2—5. How are the Apostles fulfilling this responsibility today? How did the gift of the Holy Ghost help the Apostles in their responsibility to be witnesses of Jesus Christ? What is the role of the Holy Ghost in our efforts to teach the gospel? As the Apostles watched Jesus ascend into heaven, two men in white stood nearby. What did these men tell the Apostles? See Acts — Testify that the Second Coming of Christ will be a literal event.

Christ will return to the earth to usher in the Millennium and rule over the earth. How was Matthias chosen as the new Apostle? How are Apostles and other Church leaders chosen today? See Articles of Faith Read and discuss selected verses from Acts 2. Explain that the Feast of Pentecost was a harvest celebration held 50 days after the Feast of the Passover. Jews from many nations came to Jerusalem for this feast. See Acts —4. What did the Apostles do when they received the Holy Ghost? How did the people react when they heard the Apostles speaking in various languages?

How is the preaching of the gospel today similar to the preaching on the day of Pentecost? How did Peter respond to those who mocked the Apostles for speaking in tongues? See Acts —24, Why is it important to have a testimony of Jesus Christ and his divine mission? Why is it important for us to share our testimonies with others? How can the Holy Ghost help us share our testimonies? What did Peter teach the people who believed his testimony?

Point out that the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel are the same in all dispensations. How did these people demonstrate that they had been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ? What can we learn from their example? Read and discuss selected verses from Acts 3—4. You may want to have a class member read Acts —11 aloud. Even though Peter and John had no money to give to the lame man at the gate of the temple, what did they have to offer him? By what power was the man made whole?

See Acts , 12—13, 16 ; How have you felt the healing power of Jesus Christ in your life? Peter used this miracle as an opportunity to testify of Jesus Christ Acts —26 ; — What opportunities do we have to testify of Christ?

“Born Again”

How have you been blessed as you have been a witness or have heard others be witnesses of Jesus Christ? See Acts —3. They had Peter and John arrested. How is the word used? For Further Study and Reflection 1. Gather with other teachers and small group leaders to share your stories and questions about how God has called you. What do you think God wants of each of you? What gifts do you see in yourself? Call forth and name the gifts and strengths you see in each other.

Are any of those gifts complementary? How might you work together in different ways to enhance the teaching ministry?


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Commit with other teachers to form a covenant group for several weeks, at least to study and consider prayerfully Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living , by Rueben P. Job Nashville: Abingdon Press, ; available through Cokesbury. The third section specifically addresses the means of grace, but don't skip the prior sections.

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A Cloud of Witnesses Some of our best teachers are not immediately present. Who are some of the people who have been witnesses to the Christian faith? Who modeled or taught you what it means to be a follower of Christ? Thank God for their witness! Hebrews 12 begins with the words, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. People like Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Esther, David, Mary, Paul, and many others not called by name— these people have gone before us and sought to be faithful to God.

You can add other names to this list: people who are important in the history of your local congregation, pastors who guided you, parents who taught you the faith, Sunday school teachers who helped you grow. You are "surrounded" by these people when you seek to lead a group or teach a lesson.

You can almost imagine them sitting in a balcony of your classroom cheering you on! Class Members Whether you teach three-year-old children or older adults, whether your group has two members or two hundred, you can know that the Holy Spirit is present. Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them" Matthew A teacher learns quickly that students and group members quite often "teach" the teacher.

Group members come with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and backgrounds that one leader cannot provide. Often a student will share an insight that the leader has never thought about. Even the youngest learners can teach by the questions they ask and the different perspectives they bring to the subject at hand. Teaching is a mutual process where all share together in the experience of teaching and learning.

The older the student or group member, the more they bring and the more they expect to be allowed to bring. The Congregation You have been asked to teach on behalf of your congregation. Hopefully the congregation is supporting you by providing the space, study materials, and supplies you need to be effective. Other ways congregations can support teachers include. If you would like to be supported in any of these ways, ask! The United Methodist Connection United Methodist congregations are connected to one another in a special way.

Local churches are joined together into districts; districts are joined into annual conferences; annual conferences are joined into jurisdictions; and jurisdictions are joined together with conferences outside the United States to make up the entire United Methodist denomination. The general agencies help support all of these different parts. Just as local congregations share their resources of money and service with these larger bodies, so the districts, conferences, and general agencies share their knowledge, resources, and skills with local congregations. Ask your pastor or Sunday school superintendent about training events and resources that might be available in your area.

A district or conference staff person may be available to help provide training for teachers and leaders in your church. Perhaps several congregations located near one another could sponsor a joint learning event. General agencies provide written and internet-based resources that can be helpful.

Categories

Think more deeply about your own "cloud of witnesses. Dig more deeply than, "She cared about me" to what it was that she did to demonstrate care or further than "the lessons were good" to what sort of preparation made them good. By delving more specifically into your reflections you can identify the success factors that you may be able to adopt and adapt. What have you learned that you can make your own? Consider also the members of your class or group. What does each of them bring to the session? How might their knowledge and experience augment your own? What contributions have you missed so far that could add value to the rest of the group?

Invite members of the congregation who are not currently in a class or group to meet together to share what inspiration, experience, gifts, strengths, or ideas they might contribute, on occasion, to the education ministry. Observers and past participants may have a perspective and gifts that need to be considered.

Friends of the education ministry may be willing to be partners in some fashion, even if they are not present in a group each time it meets. Call your conference office or go online to the conference web page to see what sort of helps are available. He or she seemed to have a deep knowledge of a subject, effortlessly knew what method to use, and was able to inspire others to learn. Many of us may never claim the title of gifted teacher, but all of us fill a teaching role at some point. Anytime we encourage, share information, guide, support, challenge, parent, or tell another about how God has acted in our lives, we are filling a teaching role.

One resource states it this way:. In a real sense, every person in the congregation participates in the teaching ministry. We teach through worship, through service, through engagement in the administrative tasks of the church. Everyone in the congregation is both teacher and learner. One of the characteristics of a good teacher is being a good learner and a good listener. Teachers model for their students the value of learning. We can never learn all there is to know about teaching, nor will we ever have all the answers. Trust, value, and seek the wisdom of your class or group members.

Listen to the questions and reflections of their hearts, knowledge, and experience. Who do you consider the best teacher you ever experienced? What did he or she do that was so memorable or effective?


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It may be helpful to think of the following three words to describe your role as a teacher:. Model A teacher is one who models the Christian faith, hopefully to the best of his or her ability. What we do is more powerful than what we say; how we live is stronger than how we claim we should live.

Your students of all ages will watch you and learn from you. It is vital, then, that you model and teach well. The most powerful Christian teacher is one who not only recites, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" Luke , but also actually practices it. An effective teacher is one whose faith is evidenced in his or her actions in the congregation and the community. This does not mean that you cannot accept a teaching role until you are a perfect Christian. If it did, our teaching ministry would have ended with Jesus! It does mean that you understand the importance of seeking to grow into the likeness of Christ.

A teacher should be growing in his or her own knowledge of the Bible, learning to pray, attending worship, and setting the example of a follower of Christ. Formation The role of a teacher of the faith is not just to pass on information or facts. It is to help people be formed as disciples learners and followers of Christ, and transformed into the people God has created them to be.

Romans says:. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God— what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Preparation

Transformation is the process of being converted or changed so that our fullest humanity can be realized. Sometimes transformation is a slow process, like water rushing over rocks for years and slowly changing their shapes. Other times it seems to happen much more quickly, like a river flooding over its banks and radically altering the shape of the land.

In either instance, transformation is the work of God in our lives that changes us more and more from our current state of being into the people God wants us to be. The good news for teachers is that we are not responsible for this transformation—God is! We trust God to do the rest.

Information Part of the teaching responsibility is, indeed, to share information. There is more to learn about the Christian faith than any of us can ever know: information about the Bible and the stories in the Bible, the history of the church, theology or how people think and talk about God , facts about the beliefs and practices of The United Methodist Church, and much more.

Much of the information you will share will come from printed study resources provided by your congregation. Other information will come from your own personal study and reflection. Your class or group members will also bring their collective and individual wisdom. No teacher will ever know all the answers. Yet we can help people learn some important information that will help them know what it means to be a Christian and will assist them in their walk with God. Building Relationships Perhaps one of the most important things a teacher can do is build relationships.

A teacher first works to strengthen his or her relationship with God. Daily prayer and reflection, study of Scripture, participation in worship, involvement in service activities—these are just a few of the practices that can draw each of us closer to God. Next, a teacher seeks to develop a strong relationship with the students or group members in the class. Few Christians remember much of what a Sunday school teacher actually taught them. What they remember most is the warm and caring relationship with the teacher—or the lack thereof! A good teacher also pays attention to the relationships between members of the group, helping them build an open, supportive Christian community.

Consider how your class time is spent in information-giving. Think next about how your class or group is structured to allow for formation and transformation. Gather the other teachers and group leaders together to explore the reference materials that each of you has. What is in your church library or pastor's study that might be available to you? Do you search out information in sources other than the printed curriculum or study Bible notes? Commit to more background study as part of your preparation for a month or so to see what difference it makes in your teaching. Work with the other teachers, especially those who work with the same approximate age-level, to discuss how they structure the class for transformation.

What can you learn from and teach to the others? If you are unsure about how to structure your time to allow for transformation, consider joining with several other people for your own devotional time together not primarily study time. Use candles or icons for focus; take time to pray silently and together; search the Scriptures for the service challenges they offer you and embrace something.

Go back to the group to reflect on your own experiences and to explore how to set a similar stage in your learning setting. The primary task as described here is not four things, but one task with several dimensions. That one task can also be described as disciple making. The commission to be God's partner in making disciples is the responsibility of every congregation.

Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual
Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual Bringing Men to Jesus: Teacher’s Manual

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