The truth is I can’t remember their names except for the ones when I was a teen. I can’t remember specific lessons, although fragments of classes and moments in classes do come to recollection. Somewhere along the line a class made a paper model of the tabernacle. Songs, crayons, rounded safety scissors, Elmer’s glue, and a lot of patience on the part of teachers were a part of the experience.
It was in these classes that my first knowledge of the Bible came. It was there I heard of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, Abraham and Sarah, and all the other great narratives of the Bible. Flannel graph figures of Jesus and the Apostles brought to life the gospels. It was in these classes that a life long study of the Bible was born. It was in these classes that faith took root.
Bible teachers share their time and energy with students. It’s not just the time in class that teachers share. It takes time to be prepared. When you multiply 52 weeks times Sunday and Wednesday times the number of classes that we have, you realize the hundreds and even thousands of volunteer hours it takes for our Bible classes. And it is not just time, but energy too. Preparing a class and teaching a class is work, but it is rewarding work.
Bible teachers share their faith. Why bother to teach? Is it not because we believe in God and in the gospel of Jesus Christ? Our faith motivates us to share this message with others. The Bible lessons we teach are God’s message to a lost world. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 ESV). Even small children have the beginnings of faith. Elementary students have a great capacity to learn facts. When their ability to do abstract thinking develops around the age of 12, this great reservoir of facts is not lost, but is built upon. These basic facts can lead them to more mature understandings of God’s will. And most important of all, the students hearing the word also come to faith.
Bible teachers share their commitment. Teaching requires commitment. There is the commitment of time. There is commitment to be present at Bible studies and worship. There is the commitment to prepare and read your Bible. There is commitment to pray for your students and your class. Commitment is very important and attractive. Commitment begets commitment. Only the live ember spreads the fire.
To the Bible teachers in my life, I say thank you. To the Bible teachers of this church, I say thank you. What you share with others can influence for eternity.