By Katie Pearson
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17
If you are called to kingdom leadership, you are called to teach God’s Word. While your spiritual gift might be hospitality or mercy, you must learn how to effectively communicate biblical truth to believers and nonbelievers. In Paul’s day, teaching was the only way to tell people about Jesus and educate them about his identity and place in Jewish history. Getting the facts right was imperative as the documents accumulated would become the New Testament.
Today, as leaders in God’s church, teaching is more about formation than information. While we must ensure that our facts about Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection are accurate, our work is to communicate the story of Christ from Genesis to Revelation in such a way that changes hearts. We don’t have to be experts in theology; only passionate followers convinced that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The Holy Scriptures are what shape our souls.
As Eugene Peterson writes in his book “Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading,
“Christians don’t simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus’s name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son.”
When teachers recognize that Scripture informs and transforms, they share God’s Word to bring life to God’s people.
How can you be a more effective teacher? First, own the calling and commit to it. Don’t disqualify yourself because you aren’t articulate, can’t write a three-point sermon, or haven’t memorized long passages. The best teachers are the ones who are so enthralled with the subject matter that their enthusiasm inspires others to take a look for themselves. That means finding the teachers that ignite your passion, whether authors, speakers, or individuals whose lives are a testimony to the power of God moving in and through them. Stay excited and on fire for God’s truth in your own life, and it will become your greatest asset.
Finally, pray for God to give you the wisdom to share biblical truth in any given situation. Show empathy to and interest in those you teach and ask a lot of questions. It usually isn’t about how much you know but what is applicable and helpful in the moment. Your job as a teacher isn’t to ensure that every point is heard and assimilated but to embrace these words from Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Trust the Spirit’s leading and let go of the outcome.
To lead well is to create mature disciples who are “complete and equipped” to fulfill their God-given callings. Only the book given to us by the Holy Spirit can make a follower both whole and holy, or set apart to do the will of God.
Are you hungry for God's Word? Is studying it a priority in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Prayer Response: Holy Spirit, I pray for a renewed excitement to immerse myself in your book, embrace its generative power, and allow even the hardest truths to transform me. I want to learn, but even more, I want to participate with you in living out God’s reality in every aspect of my life and leadership. I’m ready!
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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