Bible teaching is relational because Christianity is relational. Remember the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:2, HCSB). Being a Christian is about loving God and loving others–that’s relational. The more we know and love our
1. The more we know and love our people, the more God can use us to bring change in their lives.
It’s trite but true: “We don’t teach lessons, we teach people.” We do more than tell our learners everything we know about the Bible. Our goal is more than imparting Bible knowledge; it is to be used of God to transform lives. When we know our people, we know the needs in their lives, and we are better able to help them make application of biblical truth.
2. The more our people know and love us, the more they will pay attention to what we teach.
Another truism is, “Our people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” Change Is hard. When the Spirit brings conviction through the Word, the first response is often resistance, “Why are you meddling in my life?” When learners know that we love them and have their best interests at heart, it opens doors for God to use us in bringing transformation in their lives.
3. The more our people know and love us, the more we can teach by being a positive model.
When it comes to spiritual transformation, “change is more caught than taught.” We often have more impact by what we model in our lives for others to see than by what we say. When we spend time with our people outside of church, they see us in real life situations. Again, God can use this in miraculous ways to transform lives.
Jesus spent time with his disciples building relationships. He knew them and loved them. Can we do anything less?
Bob Wood is the Church Growth Ministries Team Leader, Baptist State Convention of Michigan.