Book Review – The Teacher’s Notebook (Mark Stibbe)

This book is a part of a series of short paperbacks on each of the five “Ephesians 4 ministries”. The books seek to define each ministry, as well as discuss the principles behind it and including practical advice. Mark Stibbe is an ideal candidate for this volume as he is a gifted Bible teacher. He also has a very accessible and readable style.

The series is from a charismatic perspective, and as Stibbe acknowledges, the gift of teaching is perhaps a neglected one in charismatic circles, due to our eagerness to stress those of prophecy or apostleship. The book has five chapters, the first of which introduces and defines the gift of teaching. He stresses that it should be Biblically based, but with the charismatic dimension of being ‘revelatory’. He very briefly defends his position on women teaching (they can) without being antagonistic to those of a different persuasion. He also attempts to distinguish ‘teaching’ (to Christians) from ‘preaching’ (to non-Christians).

Chapter 2 sets out Jesus as the ultimate teacher. This helpful chapter draws out numerous lessons from not only Jesus’ teaching technique, but also his devotional life with the Father. The third chapter deals with ‘power’ and focusses on the dimension of the Spirit in the Bible teacher’s life.

The fourth chapter deals with the Bible, and how the teacher needs to know it, study it, and most importantly know the author of it. It includes some practical advice on using Bible study tools, and Mark Stibbe cleverly includes an study of Matt 13:52 both as an example of how to study a passage and to provide extra material on the gift of teaching.

The final chapter deals with preparing the sermon, using the analogy of preparing a meal. It is not overly prescriptive on what a good sermon should contain, but using principles of simplicity, structure and seasoning, he provides some clear and helpful guidelines.

Each chapter ends with some application questions, mainly geared towards those who are exercising some form of teaching ministry. The conclusion also includes a challenge to charismatic churches to put the same effort into training teachers as they do into other ministries. The book is refreshingly different from many non-charismatic books on teaching, which can solely focus on exegetical skills, presentation style and preparation technique. It is a call for teachers who know their God and know their Bible. Its by no means a comprehensive book, but recommended reading for anyone interested in this ministry.

1 thought on “Book Review – The Teacher’s Notebook (Mark Stibbe)

  1. *This book is excellent.* 🙂

    Its practical, inspiring and carries a lot of authority because of the giftings, anointing and commitment that the author has to the teaching ministry

    I havent read any of the other books in the series but I dont think that it is complete yet re: the 5 fold minsitries

    Ive only seen the Prophet and Apostle covers….

    Each book is written by someone who is strong in that ministry – my next buy is the Apostle one by Mike Breen

    Im charged with creating a disipleship program for my church and cant wait to get hold of the complete set

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