You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)
Teaching others is an ominous task. It can be demanding, as well as rewarding.
Paul encourages Timothy to share the gospel with other believers, so that together they can teach others. This model of the teachers teaching other teachers is still relevant today. Any teaching that stops after sharing once hasn’t really achieved its goal.
Taking the analogy of teacher training college, it is clear that all the students are being trained at college so that they can become teachers themselves. Paul is almost imagining the same thing – generations of teachers training others who themselves become teachers, sharing the gospel.
Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that not all Christians are teachers, so not everyone can or should be expected to teach others. However, those who have a specific gift for teaching, should do so with enthusiasm.
In November of this year the church I attend will be starting to train people across the congregation in what is called ‘The Gospel Project’. The aim is to train a wide range of people in the use of Mark’s Gospel to share the truth of Christ across a wide range of situations – small groups, one-to-one, etc. This should result in a larger number of people in the church being able to share Mark’s Gospel confidently and knowledgeably. Not everyone is expected to attend the training, as it is recognised that not all will have a specific gift for teaching. However, the principle is that the teachers teach others so that they themselves become teachers. This is the multiplier effect practice.
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