Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;– Romans 12:7
We continue today on the subject of spiritual gifts. We did not have a devotional study yesterday. Instead, we published a doctrinal study on teaching – Teaching and What the Old Testament Says About It. The doctrinal study is a little longer than the typical devotionals we put out but would be worth looking into if you are interested in how the Old Testament portrays teaching. Today, we will look briefly at how teaching fits into the ministry of the church.
We saw how teaching is focused on CAUSING the student to learn. We NEED this in our church! Does the job of a father and mother only involve pregnancy and giving birth to a child? NO! The day a child is born is so special that the child will celebrate it each year for the rest of his life! Yes, the day of one’s birth is important, but life doesn’t stop there! The job of the father and mother just began. In reality, although the pregnancy and birth was difficult and important, raising the child right takes even more dedication. Why do I bring this up? It is great to see a soul saved! But we can’t stop there! I’ve heard preachers boast about how many people they’ve witnessed to and how many professions of faith they’ve obtained. But where are these supposed converts now? I hope most of them did indeed receive Christ. But listen carefully. It is IRRESPONSIBLE and IMMATURE to win somebody to the Lord without caring enough about them to train them in spiritual growth. If you lead somebody to the Lord, you have a responsibility to help them along in their spiritual walk. Society looks down on child neglect, but in the spiritual realm it’s tolerated. Just as it is important for a child to have loving, nurturing parents, a newly-saved child of God needs to have loving, nurturing teachers.
I realize I have gravitated towards the subject of discipleship and not necessarily the gift of teaching, but the purpose of the discussion was to stress the IMPORTANCE of Biblical teaching.
What is the gift of teaching though? Some preachers have this while some don’t. Some teachers have this while others don’t. There are teachers in churches who are good teachers, putting forth the effort in preparing the lesson and ministering to their students. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they have the gift of teaching. Usually teaching is viewed as a skill. One can have years and years of experience teaching and possess a honed set of skills that makes him what others would call a “good teacher.” The thing is though, a lost person can be a good teacher as well. There are natural abilities and skills, but SPIRITUAL gifts are different. They are given to EVERY child of God (1 Corinthians 12:7,11). There could be someone who is not by most people’s standards an effective communicator but can STILL be used by God to teach Biblical truth! Isn’t that a wild thought?! See, in a Biblical church things work differently than in the world. In a Biblical church, God can make a preacher out of a stutterer, a teacher out of someone with a 4th-grade education, and a helper out of a disabled person! It all points back to the reason why there are spiritual gifts to begin with – “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Spiritual gifts glorify CHRIST!
Someone with the gift of teaching is someone who God speaks through in a special way to touch the hearts of the listeners, helping them to grow in spiritual knowledge and maturity. When dedicated to the Lord’s will, someone with the gift of teaching will have a burning desire to help others build upon their spiritual foundation through sound doctrine. They watch very closely for false doctrine and are concerned with helping the church to stay true to solid, Biblical truth.
Thank God for teachers!