2 Timothy 3:10-11 – Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings.
It is hard to know if the teaching gift is separate from the pastoral gift. apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors are clearly separate. The apostolic and pastoral ministries have teaching as a major component of their gift. The apostles laid the foundation of what was to be taught. I call this “structuring doctrine.” The elders of the New Testament churches taught what the apostles set as proper doctrine. Teaching the things of the Spirit is definitely a gift given to the body of Christ. Biblical teaching is not rooted in academics in the sense of man’s views. It is rooted in “revelation,” or what God reveals.
Paul tells Timothy that any man who “aspires” to the office of overseer,” among other things, must be able to teach (1Timothy 3: 1-7). As stated in our scripture for today, Timothy followed Paul’s teaching. Paul’s teaching was more than words. His teaching was also found in his conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings. Teaching should reflect a manner of living, not just information.
Teaching is a “fatherly function.” Solomon gives instruction to his son when he says, “My son, do not forget my teaching” (Proverbs 3:1). We can assume that Solomon was taught by his father, King David. Not only do the scriptures speak of natural fathering, but spiritual fathering as well. “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight” (1Timothy 1:18). Fathers teach their children. The real teachings come through the models that fathers and mothers set for their children. I believe that one of the weak points in church life is that the majority of teaching is simply informational rather than example.
Jesus’ teaching was show and tell. “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:17). Today, I believe we find that teaching is mostly about information. Biblically it is about modeling. A part of training is putting your hands to the work and practicing so you might develop the skill you are learning.
I worked in the television repair field for many years. My first boss wanted me to take classes at the local city college. It was helpful to be in the class, but my greatest knowledge base came in the field. I was fortunate enough to work with the shop’s best technician. It was his modeling that laid the foundation for future success in the field of servicing. I found the same to be true in ministry development. I listened to a lot of teaching that was excellent and helpful, but it was in the doing, alongside mentors, that the real teaching took place.
Father, thank You for the teaching gift You have placed in the body of Christ. I pray to be taught as well as to teach others of Your wonderful ways and works. Help my life to model for others what You have taught me.