There are two kinds of teachers for the body of Christ. The spiritually gifted teacher (Romans 12:3-13) and the spiritually gifted teacher who watches over other teachers (sometimes called the administrative teacher). He holds the “office of teacher” (Ephesians 4:11-13). A secular school teacher cannot become a teacher to the body of Christ unless he is born again and been gifted by God to do so.
The difference between the office of a teacher
The office of teacher equips the other teachers to teach and be better at their calling. He also corrects, rebukes, and removes false teachers. This sermon will be primarily about the spiritual gift of teaching in general.
The difference between teaching and preaching
Preaching is a declaration—announcing something and broadcasting it. Evangelists create awareness. Preachers get people to accept or buy into the gospel. They’re marketers of the gospel. They often speak to the emotions of the people.
Teaching is instructional, practical, and logical. Teachers speak to the minds of the people. Teachers show buyers how to understand the “product” they “bought.” Teachers help converts use the instruction manual which is the Bible.
What is teaching? What do teachers do?
- to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them
- to impart instruction
- instill doctrine into one
- to explain or expound a thing
How do you know if you’re a teacher?
You know you’re a teacher if you’re constantly surrounded by ignorance, but you know the answers. Your life’s motivation is to teach and instruct the things of God.
People with the spiritual gift of teaching feel like Jesus in Matthew 6:36 where it says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 6:34 says, “Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
- If you’re a teacher you’re motivated to help people grow, not money and glory
- When you study, you get near instant revelation—you know the answers
- You can explain the Bible in ways people can easily understand
- The Bible is your foundation
- You often require proof from scripture regarding “new doctrines” presented you
More about teachers
- Teachers must teach everything Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:20).
- Teachers teach what God wants the people to know, not what people want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).
- Teachers may learn from other teachers, but primarily, from the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:12, John 14:26).
- Going to a seminary is unnecessary to become a teacher (Acts 4:13)
- In an orderly church, the teacher is the one in front of the people most of the time, not the pastor
- While pastors must be able to teach, their teaching is more on a personal one-on-one basis instead of to a large audience
- Women are excluded from teaching (read 1 Timothy 2:11-14) but can teach younger women how to be better wives and mothers (read Titus 2:4-5)
- Teachers can accept financial support and goods for their services just as an apostle and pastor does (3 John 1:5-8 NLT)
- Teachers rely on God to supply their needs, not men
- Just as we are warned about false prophets, we must beware of false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3)
What Bible teachers should avoid
- Things that lead to speculation (end times, pre-flood, demons)
- Being led into side topics, off track, and silly debates
- Teaching sinners (sinners can’t understand spiritual things)
- Teaching the proud. God resists the proud (James 4:6)
- Group teaching. One teacher at a time. Or teachers should be in sync
- Things that just puff up but don’t lead to transformation (1 Cor 8:1)
- Deep words to dazzle people. Blowing minds.
- Complicating your teaching to appear smarter
- Teaching traditions of man (Matthew 15:9)
How to teach
- Be honest
- Be simple
- Be patience
- Be repetitious
- Consider learning speeds
- Consider learning styles
- Be humble
- Be serious (Titus 2:6-8)
- Teach in the Spirit (1 Cor 2 12-14)
- Avoid fights (2 Tim 2:22-26)
- Preach with authority (Mat 7:29)
- Use stories (parables)
- Create memorable sayings
- Use visual illustrations
- Have a call to action
- Practice what you teach