Everyone Can Teach
Some of the greatest blessings come to the Christian who teaches, as the teacher shares in the joy of seeing someone accept Jesus as Savior. When that person who becomes a Christian grows in the Lord because you have taught him or her, the joy is amplified.
In this lesson you will see why everyone can and should teach. We cannot say we are not able to teach. It is God’s plan and He will help us do it. If you are willing to follow God’s plan, then you will have God’s joy. There is no greater joy than helping another person find God’s will for his or her life. You can do it!
A teacher of God’s Word must be a Christian. Those who try to teach the Bible but have not accepted Jesus as their Savior do not have the help of the Holy Spirit to understand fully the teachings of God. Part of the Holy Spirit’s work is giving us understanding of the Bible so that we can live out Jesus’s commission for us to teach others.
You do not have to know everything about the Bible before you can teach others. None of us knows all there is to know about the Word of God. We teach what we know. When we are saved from our sins, we share with our families and friends what God has done for us. This is the beginning of our teaching ministry. As we grow in our own Christian life, our ability to teach others will also increase.
Others say, “I can’t teach because I’m not perfect. I’m too weak in my Christian life. I still sin.” It should help you to know that Jesus chose imperfect men as His disciples. These disciples were to be the ones who would teach others about Jesus.
Three men who were probably closest to Jesus were Peter, James, and John. James and John were brothers whom Jesus named Boanerges, which means “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). The name was coined because the disciples had argued among themselves concerning which of them would be the greatest. James and John asked Jesus if they could sit at privileged places, on His right and left sides, when Jesus came to His kingly throne. This was a selfish request. At another time, these brothers became angry when men of a town would not let them enter. In retaliation, they asked Jesus to call fire down from heaven to destroy the men. In spite of the brothers’ vices, Jesus chose them as His disciples.
In addition to the brothers, Peter had a hard time doing the right thing. Once Peter said he would die to protect Jesus, yet a few hours later, he cursed and denied ever knowing Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus sought after Peter and chose him to be a teacher of others.
It is clear that none of us is perfect. We all have sinned. But Jesus chose us to be teachers for Him just as He chose the disciples who were sometimes sinful. Jesus knew that we could not be perfect by our own efforts, but He does want us to obey Him and not sini. Thus, He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us to live holy.
When we know we have been forgiven of our sins, we know that God loves us. This is the message that every Christian can teach others. God is eager to forgive them, for He loves them too.
Whoever you are, God can use you to teach others. But you need to dedicate yourself to obeying His command to teach. To dedicate means “to set something apart for a certain purpose.” For example, God calls some people to be pastors. When one chooses to obey and become a pastor, one’s life is dedicated to that ministry.
We need this kind of dedication to the ministry of teaching. Even if you do not become a teacher in Sunday school, you can help those who are. The best way to support the teaching ministry is to be willing learners and obey the truths learned.
For those who do become teachers in the Sunday school or other areas, teaching will not be a full-time job like pastoring. But whatever kind of teaching we do, we need to plan and study for it. We need to be dedicated, for there are some things a teacher needs to know and do.
1. The teacher must believe that everyone needs teaching.
2. The teacher must know that without God people are lost.
3. The teacher must know that Christians need to grow spiritually.
4. The teacher must know what to teach. This requires Bible study.
5. The teacher must live what he or she teaches.
Teaching can be a challenge. Whenever a Christian teaches in Sunday school or church, something else is also needed. This is the gift of teaching that the Holy Spirit gives. We will talk more about this later. Christians may have received other gifts, and not the gift of teaching. Still, they must obey Jesus’s command to teach in everyday life.
When we are willing to give ourselves to teaching, God will help us. The psalmist wrote, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this” (Psalm 37:5). God has never turned away any person who dedicates himself or herself to obeying Christ’s commands.
Use Every Opportunity
When we think about teaching we may think about Sunday school, books and desks, lecterns, and pulpits. But teaching is needed everywhere. Parents in the home, workers on the job, business professionals, students—all can find a way to teach something to someone. Everywhere a Christian may be, there is an audience that needs to be taught about Jesus the Savior.
Jesus taught in many different times and places. When the Jewish leader Nicodemus came to talk to Him one night, Jesus used this to teach him how to be saved. Another time, Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria, and Jesus stopped by a well to rest. While His disciples had gone into the town to buy food, a woman came to draw water from the well. Jesus used the time to teach her about the Living Savior.
Jesus did not just teach in the Jewish church. He taught in the countryside by the sea; He taught as He and His disciples walked on the road; He taught in homes and wherever people would listen.
Have you ever shared from God’s Word while having a meal with others? Maybe it was with your family, or perhaps with some friends. Reading a few verses of Scripture and talking together about them can be very helpful. This, also, is a form of teaching.
When there is time to talk at work, this is an opportunity. Wherever else you meet with friends you can share God’s truths. Most people go through troubles at some point. You can teach them then about your Lord, who answers prayer.
One woman I know always greets her friends by asking, “What has the Lord done for you today?” This leads into talking about spiritual things. Christians who do this find themselves teaching the things that God has taught them.
Develop Your Gift
Thrice in the New Testament, Paul names the gifts of the Spirit. Each time the gift of teaching is named with the others. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach (Romans 12:7).
In the church God has put all gifts in place: in the first place apostles, in the second place prophets, and in the third place teachers (1 Corinthians 12:28). Paul writes that it was God who gave gifts to the church, by appointing some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11).
The gift of teaching was needed to build up the church in the days of the apostles, and it is needed today, too. But from a study of these Scripture verses, we learn that not everyone receives the gift of teaching. There are other gifts issued for the purpose of building up the church. Every Christian can receive one or more of these gifts. We may not all receive the same gift.
Those who have other gifts should do the things their gift helps them do. If a person’s gift is to serve, then he or she should serve or help others when needed. Stop right now and ask the Lord to reveal to you what your gifts are. You might also pray for God to give you a special gift.
What is the gift of teaching? Like the other gifts, it is a supernatural ability. It is an ability that God gives to explain His truths. The Christian teacher is not one that always knows more about the Word of God than others. The Christian teacher has a gift to teach others so they can learn and grow.
All Christians can be teachers. Paul told the Christians in the Colossian church: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). In the church, teachers who have received the gift of teaching are especially needed.
Every Christian should discover his or her spiritual gift and develop them. Some may have the gift of teaching and not know it. If you have a desire to teach, try teaching. You and others may see God’s blessing in your teaching.
If you know you have the gift of teaching, use it. We do not know what gift Timothy had, but what Paul told him is good for us too. Paul said, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). The best way to keep a gift alive is to
use it in your ministry to the church. Peter encourages, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). As we use the gift of teaching, or any other gift God has given us, it will grow. We will become better teachers as we work at learning how to teach.