1. The teacher must take time for study.
few minutes daily, is used with system, will accomplish much. Spasmodic
and fitful study avails little. Time is needed for meditation and
reflection. Without these the preparation of a lesson will be
superficial and without power. There should be daily study. The daily
habit, once formed, the study intensifies.
2. It should first be a study of the Bible itself, without the "helps."
mistake of many teachers is the preoccupation of the mind by the
studies of others rather than by one's own first study of the Bible
text. However learned the helper may be, or exhaustive his exposition
of the Bible, it cannot take the place of the teacher's duty to himself
as a student. "Knowledge is power," but it is one's own home-grown
knowledge that is meant in that time-honored maxim.
3. The teacher should learn to think for himself.
needs for his own growth to force his mind and heart through the slow
and sometimes painful processes of thought. Th one who exercises
grows. He cannot attain growth as a thinker through the mental exercise
of another. Here is the peril of many teachers. They count on being
good thinkers without thinking, and lapse into servitude and
4. The teacher should first apply the truth of the lesson to himself.
is, or should be, in every Sunday school lesson something which the
teacher can use for his own spiritual nourishment. Who feeds another
should be careful to feed himself. The fable of the French chef who
prepared the finest food for the guests, yet was found dead from
starvation, is an illustration of those teachers who minister to the
souls of students, but go unnourished by the Word of Life.
5. The teacher should study the whole Bible.
the weekly lessons is studying it "in spots." If nothing more is
attempted, this will not make a good Bible student. The student who
knows a whole book of the Bible knows better the particular lesson that
may be taken from it. Each book in itself is a unit of doctrine or
history or prophecy, and is part of a yet greater unity in the whole