Teaching That Transforms

What makes Christian education distinct from its secular counterpart?

As a Christian educator, my goal is not to lecture, or even to lecture with excellence. My goal is to teach in such a way that students both learn and employ their knowledge. Teachers should view themselves as nothing less than disciplers. The knowledge we communicate affects more than the minds of our hearers; it should change lives.

In particular, I want to see the members of my group develop five qualities as a result of my teaching.

Deepening Commitment to Christ

Secular education asks what students know, not who they are. Christian education asks not how much students know but how closely they are following Christ.

In Christian education what goes into the head must move to the heart, compelling deeper commitment and greater obedience. Spiritual knowledge is never intended for the head alone—never focused on skills alone, facts alone, or principles alone. All knowledge must be dedicated to the glory of God.

While we may be tempted to assume that commitment is the hearer's responsibility alone, we know better. Teachers have a role to play, especially in calling people to obedience concerning what they have heard. I have found that I have a better chance of creating committed learners when I challenge my group with the implications of what they are learning, spelling out the application in specific terms.

Growing in Character

I want to see the fruits of the Spirit developed in my group. Mere knowledge is not my goal, but character.

I can instruct in such a way that people are satisfied with listening while not doing. I can make them comfortable with increasing spiritual knowledge while they lack commitment and obedience. I can enable hearers to be puffed up with knowledge rather than humbled by their disobedience to ...

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