Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The meat of teaching

On occasion I hear someone say that the church should have more meat in its teaching. I ask them what they mean. Interestingly, I seldom get an answer that is thought out ahead of time. They aren't usually sure, they just don't feel the teachers use enough big words, give enough background information, list enough cross references, or are not clear enough on the doctrines of the Church. Certainly all of those things are important. But I think meat is something all together different.
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14
Learning the information, the doctrine, the background and the reasons why we do something is what the author of Hebrews calls milk. Solid food (meat) is teaching and doing what God calls us to do. Student who are sitting in classes listening are nursing their faith like a baby nurses from his mother. Every person needs to do that for a season, but that cannot be the on-going form of discipleship. A baby needs less than a year of nursing before it is ready for solid food. I would suggest that disciples become fat on milk if they are not discipling in some manner within a year of their start on the journey.

To really grow in your faith, find situations where you will be challenged to live out your faith and do so with the watchful eye of a mentor helping you along the way.

To really help someone else grow, teach them until they get to the point where they can teach anyone else and be effective, then push them to do just that. Teaching is the highest form of learning. Doing is the meat we are after.

If teaching is discipleship, who are you teaching? Who are you helping to teach another?