The Apostle Paul can help us learn to teach more like the Savior taught.
Members of the LDS Church have numberless opportunities to teach, whether it’s as missionaries, in Sunday School, at home, or with friends. In the Ensign article “The Apostle Paul as Master Teacher,” Frank F. Judd Jr. and John Hilton III of BYU’s Department of Ancient Scripture extract principles of effective teaching from the record of Paul’s ministry in the New Testament. Paul exemplified five principles of teaching:
- Get to know your audience. Change the depth of what you teach based on the needs and understanding of the people you are teaching.
- Control the conversation. Apply what your students say to gospel truths. As Brothers Judd and Hilton write, “Gospel teachers can follow Paul’s example and find ways to creatively redirect the conversation to better achieve their teaching objectives.”
- Speak the same language. Deliver the gospel message in terms your audience will understand, whether you need to literally speak in another language or change vocabulary based on the age group you’re addressing.
- Build on what you have in common. Paul used examples and teachings that his students had already heard. He created relationships with them by building on what they knew.
- Focus on the one. Brothers Judd and Hilton entreat us to follow Paul’s example to love each student as the Savior would love him or her. “Striving to reach out to those who struggle makes the difference between a good teacher and a master teacher,” they write.
Brothers Judd and Hilton urge us to persistently teach in the Savior’s way, as Paul did. “Even a master teacher like Paul was not able to reach all the people he taught, but he never gave up,” they write.
Read “The Apostle Paul as Master Teacher” by Brothers Judd and Hilton.
—Jennifer Johnson, Mormon Insights
Find more insights
For more information on teaching the gospel, read or watch Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s 1999 general conference talk, “Gospel Teaching.”
Read or watch “Gospel Teaching—Our Most Important Calling,” a 2008 general conference talk by William D. Oswald.
Watch a video about Paul’s conversion.
Picture quote photo courtesy of freepik.com.