Youth Evangelical Fellowship completed another round of shepherding training with two young leaders, HQ staff, Anu Titilayo-Samuel, and YEF Los Angeles chapter leader, Ephraim Fan. The training came as a helpful and eye opening need for both leaders. After deep meditation on the things they’ve learned throughout, both have realized just how important the role of a Bible teacher and shepherd is.
Ephraim shares, “It was a precious and irreplaceable experience to have received the Bible Teacher Training. Before this training, I of course have listened to many sermons on Romans, and have taught Romans Bible studies for a number of times. But a big problem is that I only preached the parts that I personally received well. For example, I never realized that homosexuality has a special seriousness. I thought it is just like any other sin, the result is that I dared not boldly declare it as a sin in early Bible studies, lest students find it hard to accept. Another example is, because I grew up in an atheist environment, I was prone to say that atheism and Christianity are equally reasonable, and the existence of God cannot be proved, but only to be believed in faith. I thought that this sounds more comfortable/less offensive to atheists like the previous me (in practice, I would avoid this problem if not specifically raised by students). However Romans clearly states that God’s existence is proved subjectively though our conscience and objectively through the created nature, so that those who deny it have no excuse at all. I think such a Bible Teacher Training is unique in that it calibrates what messages are important and indispensable. People usually receive what they are prone to receive when listening to sermons, but teaching others is not about what we like, but what they need. Just like in order for a baby to grow, many sorts of nutrients are necessary. It would be terrible if a mom likes meat and then only feeds her child with meat. Such a teacher training guarantees our students can be nourished by all the essential messages. Of course some teachers may teach better (just like some moms cook better), but God’s channel of grace will be unobstructed as long as they get a chance to listen to the message.”
Both students agreed that the training was also very helpful in that they were taught many other useful things. Like, how to keep students engaged during the study or how to let the Word come to life in their lives. These are very valuable things that are often looked over.
Anu adds, “This internship was a really great experience. It was nice to go over the core Bible studies again with the mindset of teaching it. When I first had those Bible studies, I was just learning it as a student, and how I could apply it to my own life. But through the internship, I learnt how to teach it so others could apply it to their own lives.
The biggest thing I got from the internship was how important the role of a Bible teacher is. I’m not just a teacher but a guide and a bridge for my students to draw closer to God. I realized that it is a huge and important responsibility. Now I hope I can spend more time praying for my students and praying for their hearts. I also want to spend more time preparing my heart, mind and soul for the Bible studies. I realized that I have to know and understand the Word more so I can teach it more clearly. I need to be able to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit to truly guide my students.
The internship has been so eye-opening and it made me more passionate for teaching. I pray I will remember all the lessons I learnt and delve deeper into the word of God.”
Through this kind of training, YEF wishes to instill confidence and the correct heart of shepherding into young leaders. After the training, by God’s grace, YEF hopes to raise many young Romans teachers and great guides to God.