If you want to learn what you don't know about teaching, I would suggest signing up to work at a high school for a couple of years. That's what I have had to do this past year, and wow, I'm pretty sure I'm learning more than my students.
One of the big things I've learned is the difference a class can make. I often teach the same lesson to two classes, and you know while I might be overstating the case a bit, I really believe a class can make a good lesson great or they can make a good lesson tank.
I understand, I understand, it might be me. I might have a little more energy or whatever, but I don't think it always is.
I think a class or we might say a group of people can make a teacher/preacher better or or can make a teacher/preacher worse.
I can have the same exact lesson, be the same person, I mean I feel the same, I'm in pretty much the same spot spiritually, and the way the class goes can be completely different.
I'm not sure we always realize that as church members.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure we always realize that it's not just the preacher/teacher who has a responsibility when it comes to making a sermon effective – the congregation plays a major role as well. In other words, when I come to church and I look up at the preacher behind the pulpit I really believe I can help him become a better preacher or I can make it more difficult for him to preach effectively.
Now, where the rubber meets the road. How do I do that? How do we do that? How do we help our teachers/preachers be the best possible preacher/teachers they can be?
I've got some ideas. I'll give you two, then I'd like to hear yours.
1.) LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE LITERALLY DESPERATE TO HEAR THE WORD. Tell your pastor you want him to take you deep. Tell your pastor you value his study time – you see that as important. Don't let him get the idea that management or administration is more important than knowing and teaching the Word effectively.
2.) RESOLVE TO BE INTERESTED IN THE WORD NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. I've kind of made a commitment this year that whenever someone else preaches at our church, I'm going to try as hard as I can to put away my sermon and listen to his. I'm going to be interested even if his style is different than mine. And you know what, I'm going to try to let him know it. I want him to look out at the congregation and know that I'm trying to be with him – I'm engaged and thinking about what he says. I want to view the sermon almost like a conversation that the pastor is having with me – and I know that when I'm talking to somebody in a conversation and they are looking all around or their eyes are glazed over – well, it makes me want to end the conversation.