Wednesday, November 08, 2017

English language as an evangelistic tool

And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.… (Ephesians 4:11-13)

The apostle Paul admonishes us to use our gifts for equipping ministers and building up the body of Christ. Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift that is given to him or her. One of the gifts I have that I have been using for sharing the good news and building up the saints is the gift of teaching. In particular, being a certified English teacher, I give free English lessons to non-Christian students of all ages.

At present I am using a Cambridge textbook for beginners as a main teaching syllabus. What is unique in my approach is that I integrate the good news and Biblical content within the teaching material. For example, when teaching a lesson on “Introducing myself”, besides teaching students to say “Hello. My name is…”, “I am from…”, “I am a student/architect/teacher…”, I introduce myself by saying, “I am a Christian”. If the group is OK with using the Bible since the very beginning I might even say that, Jesus introduces himself with seven I am sayings in the book of John and write them or ask them to find them in the book.

Also, when I teach a grammar concept (a verb tense, voice, or kinds of sentences) I might pick a Bible verse or passage that illustrates it. Jesus parables, for example, are short stories written in Past Simple Tense and thus appropriate to teach that tense.

Contemporary Christian songs are another means through which I teach Biblical truths and values. They are also good conversation starters. Songs are especially appropriate to teach just before major Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.)

Currently we are having 15 people who attend our English lessons for beginners. Some of them have already come to our Sunday service and other events we are organizing at church.

This teaching job demands a lot of time and energy but it’s worth when you see the positive reaction of the students and their desire to learn not only English but also get to know more about God. Recently a guy came to our English lessons and said: “I have also been to the Mormons’ English lessons but they are boring. What you are doing is a lot more interesting and fun.”