Work together to create a word picture of Moses for your character notebook.
Moses was a thoughtful man who was instructed by God and chosen to lead.
Moses appears to have had a temperament that was logical, self-sacrificing, gifted, and perfectionistic. Have the class find incidents in his life that illustrate these things.
Did God use Moses' natural temperament, or did God give special gifts to Moses for his life work?
Do a page in your character notebook for Sarah.
Sarah was an active woman who laughed in disbelief, believed the impossible, and then laughed in happiness.
Sarah appears to have been a peppery, lively, animated, practical, and strong-willed woman. See Genesis 21:10 and Genesis 16:6. Can a person like that be used by God? List her character traits with examples from her life to prove your point.
Why was Sarah able to believe God for the impossible?
This quarter you may want to create a notebook with word pictures of each of the characters that will be studied. Focus on the character of each person and the lessons that can be learned from the study.
Abraham was a quiet man who was obedient, had a quick response, and received a blessing. Describe the temperament of Abraham. Was he calm, quiet, mild, meek, easygoing, and well-balanced? Use examples from the life of Abraham to illustrate each of these traits.
Study the lesson to find Abraham's good traits and his bad traits.
Motivate students to learn on their own. If students only engage with God’s Word during your class, they are missing a consistent practice that will strengthen their walk with the Lord and help them through daily challenges. Help motivate your students to study during the week by giving them interesting topics to explore. The topics, if related to your lesson(s), will not only enrich your students’ spiritual lives, but will also deepen the discussion in your class. Some students might benefit from suggestions regarding resources or Bible study methods. A challenge to the class to read specific passages during the week might be a motivating factor. A long-range challenge to read through the Bible in a year would motivate some students. Giving students ideas for different formats for reading through the Bible might also help motivate some who would otherwise be intimidated with such a daunting “task.”
Teachers of adults in a church setting often have students for short time periods. The teacher or class may not have opportunity to know if a fellow class member is discouraged or troubled. Be positive! Be encouraging! Realize that your students may be fighting serious, life-altering battles. Be sensitive to the gravity of situations, but in all cases, be an encourager! Have an appropriate mantra for your class that has an encouraging, Scripture-based foundation, i.e., “God is working out His purpose,” “God is good,” “God loves us and does what is best for us.” But be aware of the possibility of minimizing a problem with a “godly” quote. Recognize that your class members have daily challenges, but help them know that when they come to your class, they will leave with a word of encouragement that has been spoken, based on God’s Word and His faithfulness!
Regardless of their “station in life,” students come to class with concerns and needs. Responses you see from a student are often reactions to situations of which you are unaware. As a teacher of adults, your relationship with the students in the class is key to the success of the lesson you come prepared to teach. By showing respect to students, you create an environment that is winsome and conducive to learning. Although time with the class may be in short segments, showing genuine concern and respect for everyone who comes to class is one way to demonstrate Christ’s love. Remember that each one is created in God’s image, and Jesus died for them. Showing Christ’s love in tangible ways to your students is a huge first step toward their success as a learner and your success as a teacher.
How should a teacher deal with tension in class? If the teacher encourages spirited discussion, there is the possibility for tension. If the tension is created because of differences of opinion, the teacher will want to facilitate respect for the opinions expressed. If the tension is created because a student is propounding a concept that is counter to the Scripture, the teacher should turn the attention of the class to what the Bible says about the topic. If the teacher or no one in the class is familiar with a biblical response to the discussion, the teacher can postpone continuation of the discussion with the promise to research biblical evidence regarding the topic. The class can also be invited to research the topic, and discussion can continue at the next class period. It is incumbent on the teacher to remain respectful but to provide a scriptural perspective in these situations.
Present this pertinent challenge to the class: Have you ever heard anyone say, “Practice what you preach!”? Is your reaction one of feeling criticized? It is not an unreasonable command or request. This concept is paired with the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” Take a look at your own behaviors. Are you living out what you truly believe? It is so much easier to find fault in others, but we need to continually examine ourselves by turning the mirror of God’s Word upon our souls. The Bible addresses this issue, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? … Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3–5).
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). The biblical metaphor of “the Christian race” is familiar to us. What if we allowed this concept to propel us forward each day? Think about your religious workouts (Bible reading, meditation, prayer, memorization, witnessing, etc.). Do you find that you have hit a wall, or are you advancing in your faith? A steady pace is advised if you want to have endurance until the finish line. Remember that it is a marathon rather than a sprint. Have you discovered that your spiritual “hamstrings” are strained? Be sure to stretch before you begin, and check your heart rate regularly along the way. Strive to set personal records, and reach for your individual best. Invite others to join you side-by-side, and expect those metaphorical endorphins to “kick in.” Run the race victoriously!
What does the Bible say about marriage? Have the students list several themes from Scripture that characterize God’s intentions and plan for matrimony. Talk about the purposes of nuptials, and mention some of the differences that may be present in a Christian marriage vs. a secular or ungodly one. Have the class members share some blessings that they have experienced in their own marital relationships, or allow them the opportunity to tell of examples of couples who have followed God’s plan for a Christian home. Perhaps you could explore possible decisions that individuals might make that would take them away from a godly ideal of marital bliss. Discuss barriers to happiness that a wedded twosome faces which may prevent the unit from achieving God’s will for their lives. Ask the group for principles to live by that class members could share to bolster the strength of marriages today.