teaching, leadership, and the local church
June 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Knowledge can easily create false security when it comes to spiritual matters. Because someone understands the faith, he may assume he has the faith.
St. Anselm wrote of ‘faith seeking knowledge.’ St. Paul said, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Knowledge is not enough and never saves, but true faith always seeks greater knowledge, and true faith is not possible without an element of knowledge. We must know what or who it is we’re believing.
J.I. Packer says that the Christian church is a fellowship of learning-teaching. Teaching is at the heart of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) as well as central to Paul’s ministry of multiplying churches (2 Timothy 2:2). Look at the centrality of sound doctrine and teaching the word in a healthy church as Paul describes it in Titus 1 and 2.
This has implications for local church leadership. While elders/pastors should not be appointed on the basis on knowledge alone, neither should elders/pastors be appointed who do not have knowledge and the skills to teach believers the basics of the Christian faith.
It also has implications for missions. How are local pastors/elders equipped with the biblical knowledge to lead and teach a church? How much biblical training is enough?
And it has implications for the teaching ministry of the local church. Does the local church have a teaching strategy (traditionally called a catechism)?
These questions have been on my mind and my prayer list for some time. In our elders’ meeting yesterday, I shared some thoughts on these things with the other men who lead our church. They enthusiastically encouraged me to explore further how we can mature in these areas.
Watch this space.