The Teaching Ministry: Teaching Can Be a Ministry
Do you know that God wants you to be a teacher? In this study you will learn that this is so. You will learn why God wants you to teach, and how to teach as a ministry. I am sure you will enjoy learning about Christian teaching. You will put new ideas into practice as you learn.
Some important Bible verses will be given for you to read. In our first lesson we will look at Matthew 28:19-20. These verses tell us some things we need to know about teaching.
In this lesson we will see that Christian teaching is one of the ways God planned to let people know about Himself. The most important truths are found in the Bible. God wants us to share them with everyone. He will help us to become Christian teachers, so we can help others find truth.
Christian Teaching is Different
Different From Other Teaching
All kinds of things are taught in this world. Teaching is done in many different places. We usually think of a school when we hear the words teach or teacher. But much teaching goes on outside of the schoolroom.
Why is teaching such an important part of our daily lives? A broad definition of teaching is helping another person to learn something. What is learned can be knowledge or a skill. We need to learn many things to live in this world, so teaching is important.
Christian teaching is sharing and explaining to others our knowledge of the relationship between God and us. It is a God-given ministry of helping another person to learn about growing in his life with God.
Knowledge alone is not enough. There is also the spiritual importance of seeing results in a person’s life. Christian teaching does not just present facts. It guides the learner into obeying the Word of God. As we obey, we come into the right relationship with God. (See John 8:31 and James 1:22-25.)
A Christian teacher teaches for results in the student’s life. The student shows by action that he knows what was taught. Jesus did not just give out knowledge either, He saw lives changed by His teaching. Christian teaching is helping another person learn about God so that God can change his life.
Different From Preaching and Testifying
The apostles used three methods to spread the gospel. You may have heard of these and even used them yourself. They are:
In Luke 20:1, Jesus both taught and preached. Acts 5:42 tells us the apostles “ceased not to teach and preach Jesus.”
What does it mean to preach? Preaching is proclaiming or announcing the message of the gospel in such a way that the hearer will accept the message and act upon it. A preacher tries to convince the listener to believe his message and accept it.
Sometimes there is teaching in the preaching. Both seek for a change in the listener. But teaching explains, while preaching announces the message and asks for repentance and dedication.
Think back to a sermon you may have heard recently that really interested you. Were your emotions or mind stirred to the point that you decided to change in some way? Did you act upon that?
Read Acts 10:34-43. Peter is telling the people gathered together in Cornelius’ house about Jesus Christ. In verse 39 he tells them that he and the other apostles witnessed, or saw, everything Jesus did. They had seen His death and they had seen Jesus after His resurrection. Peter tells his listeners that God had commanded them both to preach and testify of Jesus.
Testify means telling about something you have seen or experienced. The apostles had seen and experienced many things that happened in Jesus’ life. When they told others they were testifying.
Telling someone about what the Lord has done for you is testifying. What the Lord has done in your life is a fact. You have experienced it.
Teaching is as important as preaching and testifying. We need all three ways to give out the gospel. It requires preparation to teach, but the rewards are wonderful. You should begin now to pray for the Lord’s guidance about your teaching ministry.
Christian Teaching is Spiritual
In His last words with His disciples, Jesus told them that part of their work would be to teach.
Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). These verses describe Christian teaching.
Jesus gave us the command as Christians to teach. Command means to “be in control of” or “have authority over” something. This command is as important as any other He gave is. But He didn’t tell us to do something that no one has ever done before.
In the Old Testament, the life of Moses introduces us to teaching. In Exodus 24:12, the Lord said to Moses, “Come up the mountain to me, and while you are here, I will give you two stone tablets which contain all the laws that I have written for the instruction of the people.”
Another word for teaching is instruction. Moses was to instruct Israel in the laws God gave to them. In the books of Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, we see Moses did that.
Many of the priests and prophets in the Old Testament were also teachers. In our next lesson we will take a closer look at some of these.
Jesus taught as well as preached. Read John 17:6-8, He said His teaching came from God. God planned that Jesus would teach. So when Jesus commanded us to teach, Jesus was passing on a method that God put in His plan for giving His message to mankind.
God gave teachers for the purpose of helping the church:
It was he who gave gifts to mankind; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4: 11-12)
Teachers are needed to help in the work of building up the church, the body of Christ. From Old Testament times through the New Testament writings the teaching ministry has been in the plan of God. We are commanded to teach as a part of the church’s work.
Let’s look again at Matthew 28:20. Jesus said we are to teach people to obey the things He commanded. This is the gospel we ourselves have received. The gospel is found in the Bible, which is the Word of God.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:17-20 that He did not come to do away with the Law of Moses or the teachings of the prophets. They were a part of His ministry. He talked about what Moses and the prophets taught. And He said that if we teach them too, we “will be great in the Kingdom of heaven.”
We study many subjects that give us useful facts to help us in our daily life. History helps us know more about the world we live in. Mathematics, science, and other important subjects are of great benefit. God’s Word gives us what we need to know about this life and eternal life.
God’s Word reveals His plan for all of us. If we are going to teach people about God, and His plan for their lives, we must use His Book, the Bible. The Bible contains what we need to teach about this life and eternal life.
You do not need to be afraid in obeying His command to teach. Before Jesus returned to the Father, He promised us another Helper. He said: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God (John 14:16-17).
Jesus gave the Holy Spirit the title of Helper. Read Luke 4:14-15, for this Holy Spirit helped Jesus teach. What does this mean to you in your teaching ministry?
Jesus explains again in John 14:26 how the Holy Spirit will help us as we serve God. He said, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.”
Jesus said, you may remember, that we were to teach people to obey the things He has commanded. While we didn’t hear Jesus say those things in person, we do have them written in the Bible. If we have studied them, the Holy Spirit will help us teach people what they need to learn.
We may be talking to someone about a problem and a Scripture come to mind. The Holy Spirit helps us remember. He is our Helper.
When you obey His command to teach, the Holy Spirit will be with you. He will help you to do your very best in your teaching ministry.
Jesus meant for us to teach everyone. In Matthew 28:19-20, He said, “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere.” This means that every man, woman, and child needs to be taught to obey His commands.
Sometimes we think we only have to teach those in our churches and Sunday schools. But Jesus said, “all peoples everywhere.” Wherever we find people we are to be ready to teach.
We have neighbors, friends, and relatives who need to be taught God’s plan for their lives. As parents we can teach our children. You don’t have to be a teacher in the church before you reach out and teach others. We all have a command to teach as well as a need to be taught.
We teach someone then they reach out and teach another. A rock thrown in a pool of water makes ripples that spread out in wider circles. In Exodus 17:6, God gave Israel water from a rock in the desert. Paul described this to the church at Corinth “as an example for us” (1 Corinthians 10: 6). Paul said, “they drank from that spiritual rock that went with them; and that rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). In the same way, our teaching of God spreads out into the broader world around us.
The ministry of teaching is needed to help men and women, boys and girls grow Christian lives. God planned that you should have a part in this wonderful ministry. He will help you. Begin to study the Bible and think about the people you know. Pray for them. Pray that God will help you teach His Word.