By Victor Ochieng
Sharing the gospel word is one of the biggest challenges many people face. Most people just know what the Bible says, but aren’t clear on how to share that Word.
In one episode of Help Me Teach the Bible, Nancy Guthrie, a teacher of the Bible at her home church in Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and Colleen McFadden, director of women’s workshops for The Charles Simeon Trust, shared about a diagram McFadden often uses to teach her audience on how to teach the Bible. The diagram demonstrates the importance of understanding what the Biblical author wanted to teach the original audience, then picking it right from there through the cross of Calvary before applying it in our lives or sharing it with our audience. In the discussion, they touched on the importance of developing a clear argument that would make teaching the gospel word go beyond a collection of ideas, but a concrete and clearly defined approach that ensures the audience benefits from what we share.
This is because they believe in the words of 2 Timothy 3:16 that tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial…” As such, she says it’s important to share from the Old Testament narrative, apocalyptic literature, poems and all, but also underlining the importance of comprehending the context.
Using the diagram, McFadden clarified that it’s important for people to change how they view the Bible and share it with others. Instead of picking a scripture, say from the Old Testament, and jumping straight into what the passage means to you, it’s important to first look into its context; to understand what it was intended to teach those people for whom the instructions were given, then journeying through the development of the text through to our day.
Like that, McFadden says, you get a better understanding of the Bible and it allows you to understand it based on today’s life. After reading a passage, what does the death of Christ Jesus impact on it and its application?
She says, for example, that one might want to get some teaching for a group of women. In such a case, the teacher would simply go to the Bible and pick a scripture and try to figure out what that means for today’s women, not taking into consideration the fact that the text was originally written for a totally different group of people.
If you first take the approach of what it really meant to the people then, you’d be in a position to understand exactly how the text can be applied today in your life and that of those you’re sharing the scriptures with.