Teaching from the Word
Friends, I’m thrilled to introduce Whitney Capps, one of my Proverbs 31 sisters. Because of Whitney’s passion and gift for teaching from scripture, Karen and I have asked her to share with you. She has generated not just one blog post but a little series for you, so enjoy and soak in!
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isn’t what we do as speakers terrifying? I mean sure it’s scary to stand in front of a room of watching eyes, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It can even make me tremble to think about being vulnerable to tell my sins and stories, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. What I find most terrifying is opening the Word of God and praying that the Spirit empowers me to teach it well. That scares me to death.
It can be so overwhelming that many speakers will avoid it all together save quoting of a few “safe” passages tied into our personal testimonies. I’ve been guilty of that. It feels less risky. I know my story really well. I believe that I can deliver it with prowess. I am confident I won’t get it wrong. When I have given into my fear and relied heavily on my story rather than His story, the Spirit has reminded me that the only words promised to never return void are the Words of God.
So how do we overcome the fear of getting it wrong and integrate Scripture into our messages?
1. Stay scared.
Teaching the Word should scare us. I think this kind of fear is good. It keeps me dependent. It keeps me humble. It keeps me prayerful. It makes me diligent. I spend a lot more time studying the Word when I’m teaching from biblical passages. I always feel more passionate and powerful when I have feasted on the Word of God before I speak.
2. Start with Scripture
Our experience is not Truth. God’s Word is Truth. We use our experiences to support the veracity of Scripture. We must not ever use Scripture to validate our experiences. Even if I am using my testimony, I still tell my story through a passage of Scripture or align it with the experiences of a biblical character. His Story is central. He is the star. I have a supporting role.
Practically for me, I teach Scripture and make sure that I integrate personal examples as support material. I understand this can be hard when we are given a theme or are teaching on more practical topics. But if we shy away from starting with Scripture or subjugate Scripture to our agenda, we inadvertently suggest that the Word of God is not as practical or helpful as the tips I’m eager to offer. Scripture is nothing if not practical. Our job is to help our listeners connect the dots between abstract and everyday. It takes a lot of work, but it is well worth it.
So how do we do it? Check back in (next week) for practical tips on how to study Scripture with the intent of teaching a passage.
Wife, Mom, lover of God, enemy of Satan. I’m striving for holiness and coming up WAY short. Praise God-He’s made up not the difference but the sum total. Grace that is greater than all our sin! And in case this seems too heavy, I love shoes, handbags, a good eyebrow wax, and my iphone.
Wow, thanks so much for this Whitney. What wonderful truth…to stay scared! It is true that it is a high and holy calling. Although my gift is not teaching but exhortation I don’t need to shy away from speaking and teaching God’s truth. Thanks for the reminder!
I will be bolder as I share God’s truth because of your wisdom (in a scared way…of course ;-).
Jill Farris (mother of eight and happy wife to Doug for 30 years)
Excellent! Another keeper for my tips to pass on to others who want to speak. I know that I want to keep God and His Word central to my message. However, my story can be so much easier to tell. My story is His story first, I want my words to “flesh out” His Word. Love the truths you share, Whitney!
Looking forward to this series. yes. . .I too am scared everytime. . .speaking is a privelege and a responsibility. I just want to make sure I speak truth and represent our God well.