and then commanded them to disciple
A time comes in every learning process
when the students have to leave the classroom behind and face real-life situations.
The learning is over; it’s time to implement what was learned. They’ve heard the
presentation of truth. They’ve received the
instruction and training. It’s time to make
it all work in life.
To be quite honest, I am afraid that this
is where the educational process in many
churches breaks down. We can handle
the presentation step fairly well. We build
beautiful and functional educational facili-
ties. We equip our buildings with elaborate
sound systems and presentation technology.
We budget for audiovisual supplies and
make sure students have the proper class-
room tools. We understand the importance
of tables and chairs, yet we so often ignore
the implementation of what was taught.
This is the truth found in James 1:22: “But
be ye doers of the word, and not hearers
The Master took three years to teach and
train His students, then He sent them out
to change the world. The time for learning
was over; it was time for living.
In a nutshell, Christ’s educational
strategy is presentation, instruction, and
implementation. Christ made it a top pri-
ority to clearly, confidently, and creatively
present the truth of His Word. He then
gave His followers practical instruction in
ministry and several specific opportuni-
ties to minister, often within a somewhat
controlled environment. Then He put the
entire future of the church, humanly speak-
ing, into their hands.
So how would this educational strategy
look today? Here is one practical example.
For the sake of this illustration, let’s say that
our text for this quarter is the Gospel of
John, particularly the context of Christ with
the Samaritan woman at the well ( John 4).
We want to show our students how Christ
shared the Good News with her, but our
objective is to use this chapter to teach our
students that they, too, can take advantage
of open doors to witness to others about the
Lord Jesus Christ.
The first step, of course, would be to teach
the context of John 4. Teachers would study
this text thoroughly, examine its context,
and look through Bible study tools to gain
a fuller understanding of what the text is
teaching. But the important first step is
to clearly, confidently, and creatively teach
the truth of God’s Word. God will use His
Word to touch hearts and to challenge stu-
dents to share the Good News with others.
The second step would be to take specific
and intentional opportunities to train stu-
dents in how to share their faith. Perhaps
time could be given in class to instruct stu-
dents in how to work the gospel into their
conversations, like Christ did at the well.
Students could be given time to role-play
various life situations in which they could
share the gospel. Teachers could make sure
that the students know how to share the
gospel in normal, everyday conversations.
The final step, and perhaps the one most
often left out of our educational strate-
gies, would be to actually give students the
opportunity to implement what they have
learned from the text and what they have
practiced in the controlled classroom envi-
ronment. Our students have been taught
the Word of God. They have learned how to
share their faith. Why not take them out on
an outreach endeavor to give them practical
experience in sharing their faith? Why not
schedule an evangelistic event to give them
opportunities to actually share the gospel?
The key is to get them to be doers of the
Word and not hearers only.
May the Lord bless you as you teach His
Word and as you develop your own Biblical
strategy of education.
Mel Walker is vice president for alumni and church
relations at Baptist Bible College and Seminary. He
is also cofounder and president of Vision for Youth, a
ministry to train and encourage youth workers and
students for effective global ministry. This article
quotes the King James Version of the Bible.
The Master took three years to teach and
train His students, then He sent them out to
change the world. The time for learning was
over; it was time for living.