Teaching in the Cell

What "teaching" means, and what it looks like.

Teaching," unfortunately, has come to mean a certain thing in virtually the whole of the Christian community, or at least among those who recognize it as a legitimate spiritual ministry. Many look only at "preaching," which is not cited in the New Testament at all as any sort of gift given by God's Spirit to build up the Body, only as something which is done by anyone telling the good news. Whatever the case may be, we have definite views on these ministries in the church which do not necessarily come into line with Scriptural practice and philosophy.

We have this activity, this ministry of teaching and we put it in a box with very definite sides. Most Christians probably think of teaching as what their pastor does on Sunday morning behind a pulpit, or maybe on Wednesday night. Perhaps we think of a Sunday school "teacher" or even a seminary professor standing in front of a "class," probably at a board or something of that sort. How about you and I sitting in a restaurant for lunch just talking, and we talk about spiritual things and living out the life of Christ and I bring light to something you never understood before and now you understand it and begin to live it—That's teaching!

If I have been given a gift by God, then I have it, all the time, and there is no real "proper" place in Scripture for me to use that gift. No one place, no box, no sides! In traditional church settings over the last great period of time we have so constrained the outworking of these equipping gifts (Ephesians 4:11-16) that we probably rarely see them function as they were designed to function. We have seen the role of teacher be relegated to the auditorium setting, one day a week, and only in front of the whole assembly. Teachers in the ...

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