Being teachers is a Scriptural requirement for overseers.
( I Tim. 3:2) The apostle Paul counsels: "Pay constant atten-
tion . . . to your teaching." (I Tim. 4:16) All of us should
strive to be good teachers. We can learn much from Jesus, the
Master Teacher, by observing how he taught. But remember,
teaching is not a matter of mastering techniques. Effective
teaching requires love, getting the spirit of things, motivating
others, reaching the heart of those being taught.
The following observations show why Jesus was such an effective teacher:
His motive was to honor Jehovah. (John 8:49, 50)
He based his teaching on God's Word. (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10;
12:3, 5; 19:4; 22:31, 32)
He presented matters with simplicity, brevity, and clarity,
and he was practical. (Matt. 5-7)
He used questions to involve his hearers and help them to
reason and draw conclusions. (Matt. 16:5-12; 22:42-45)
He used illustrations that applied to his listeners, such as
those concerning fishermen, shepherds, and housewives.
(Matt. 13:47-50; Luke 15:3-10)
He explained matters that were not understood by his
hearers. (Matt. 18: 1-5; Mark 4: 10, 13-20, 34 )
He used object lessons. (John 13:2-16)
He reached the heart of those to whom he spoke. ( Luke
The result of his ministry was that "the crowds were
astounded at his way of teaching." (Matt. 7:28; John
Above all, adhere to God's Word in your teaching.
God's Word has power to move people to action.
God's Word is the truth. Our personal opinions may lose
effectiveness as circumstances change or may even be in
Avoid drawing attention to yourself.
As God's humble servants, we should seek to honor him
in all that we do and say.
Emphasize the Scriptures rather than your own ideas.
Jokes and humorous stories are not necessary and often
detract from the power of the Scriptures. The Bible
does not indicate that Jesus used such devices.
Logical development is a key ingredient in effective
It makes a presentation persuasive and easy to follow.
Present specific material as Jesus did.
A talk dealing with generalities lacks impact and authori-
ty; it is vague.
When giving instructions, explain how they are to be
executed. Notice Jesus' specific instructions at Matthew
Do not introduce more material than can be adequately
developed in the allotted time.
Keep your presentation simple, uncomplicated.
Allow time to repeat the main points.
Teaching with the Bible involves more than simply read-
ing a Bible text.
When reading, emphasize key portions of the text.
When giving a public talk, do not ask volunteers in the
32 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
audience to read Scripture texts, they may not empha-
size the portion applicable to the argument.
Explain the scripture.
Illustrate the main point of the text.
Apply the points to your audience; this will help you to
hold their attention and should move them to apply what
Illustrations were an important feature of Jesus' teach-
ing, and they can help you to be effective. (Luke 7:
Make your illustrations simple; complex ones may be
difficult to follow and may even detract from your argu-
Note the simplicity and power of illustrations used by
James. (Jas. 3: 1-11)
What makes these illustrations so practical in giving
counsel against gossip?
Effective questions may be used to stimulate thinking
and help individuals to draw conclusions.
Note how Jesus used questions. (Matt. 16: 13- 16, Luke 10:
Asking leading questions based on what a person already
knows may direct his mind to a correct conclusiom ( Matt.
EXAMPLE: A new brother tells you that his employer
requires him to overcharge customers. He asks you
what he should do. Rather than tell him what to do,
help him reason on the matter and draw his own
conclusion based on the Scriptures. Draw him out by
asking questions, such as: How do you feel about it? Is
such an action dishonest? If so, why? What does the
Bible say about dishonesty? Would you want a person
to do that to you? As you read and discuss appropriate
scriptures with him, you will help him to draw the
right conclusion based on the Bible, and he may be mo-
tivated by a good heart to follow through on the
counsel of the Scriptures.
UNIT 2 (a) 33
Asking a person what he thinksãviewpoint questionsã
helps you to find out what he believes on a matter.
Getting answers to such questions will help you to
know what counsel or encouragement he needs.
His comments will help you to discern how to reach
EXAMPLE: If a sister asks you about marrying an
unbeliever, you might ask her: What do you think
about it? Do you remember any scriptures that
have a bearing on the subject? After reading with
her I Corinthians 7:39 and 2 Corinthians 6: 14, 15
you might ask: What do those scriptures tell you as
to God's view on the matter? Do you agree with
this counsel? What benefits can you foresee coming
to the person who follows this counsel from God?
The figurative heart in man stands for the sum total of
the interior man as manifested in all his various activi-
ties and in his desires, motivations, affections, emo-
tions, thoughts, and so forth. ( Ps. 119: 11; it-l p. 1057)
Heartfelt appreciation is necessary; for a person to apply
the truth, it must first get into his heart.
When teaching, you must reach the heart of the student.
One way to reach his heart is to encourage the person
to ponder on what he learns.
You can help him do this by emphasizing the main
points and encouraging him to review these.
Another way is to ask probing questions, such as: How
do you feel about this Bible point and what the Society
has published on this subject? How could you apply
this information in your life or to this present situa-
A third way to impress the truth on the heart is to help
your listener to think in terms of his relationship with
34 «Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock "
Encourage him to ask such questions as: Why do I
want to do this? Am I seeking to please God, or am
I catering to my own fleshly desires?
Emphasize the importance of seeking Jehovah's di-
rection before making decisions. (Ps. 55:22; Prov.
A willing heart is necessary if our brothers are to be
properly motivated to preach the good news. (Ex. 35:5,
Do not try to get the brothers to engage in the field
service by exerting undue pressure on them. However,
encouragement is proper.
Endeavor to stimulate their hearts so there will be a desire
to serve Jehovah whole-souled and to have as full a share
as possible in the preaching work. (Mark 12:30)
Whole-souled devotion is implied in the greatest com-
mandment of the Mosaic Law; no less is required of us
as disciples of Jesus Christ. (Matt. 22:36-40)
Do not expect everyone to do or accomplish the same
People have different circumstances and different
conditions of health.
All can render whole-souled service, some by
producing thirtyfold, others sixtyfold or a hun-
dredfold, according to their circumstances.
Help the brothers to appreciate that participation in
proclaiming the good news is a sacred duty, a require-
ment on which our life depends. (Rom. 10: 10; I Cor.
Keep before the brothers the fact that our work relates
to the supreme issue of the rightness of Jehovah's
sovereignty; this should stir our hearts and move us to
zealous service. (Luke 6:45)
Help them to see that our sharing in Kingdom
preaching and disciple making reveals that God's
Kingdom really means much to us individually.
Show that lives are at stake, that we are doing a work
never to be repeated, that the work is not in vain, that
the reward for endurance in God's service is certain.
Overseers who appreciate their privilege and discharge
their responsibility to teach God's law will reap joyful
'Pay constant attention to your teaching, for by doing this
you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.'
What praise this will bring to Jehovah!
36 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"