Hebrews 5:11 tells us that Christians are called to be teachers within a certain time of getting saved. It seems that this is not for a certain few, but for all of us. Now this has set me thinking about what this can actually look like in a local church. It particular, I am starting to think that it is a key to new Christians becoming disciples.
I remember that when I became a Christian 30 years ago, all sorts of people had input into my life in different ways. My best friend at university used to have chats with me over toast and Marmite in the kitchen or walking along to lectures. I learned from more mature Christians in a house group – they even suspended their main topic of study to spend two evenings explaining the second coming of Christ when I asked questions about it. I used to discuss questions about how to live as a Christian with other new Christians. I remember older Christians at church asking me how it was going and offering little bits of advice. My pastor also had things to say to me as well, which were invaluable – I remember him sending me a book one time when I was doing a gap year with a Christian organisation. All of these were teachers and helped to nurture what God had started in my life. As Christians of some maturity, you and I fit into one of these types of categories.
There are good teachers and there are bad teachers and teachers that are somewhere in between. All good teachers that I have come across have their students best interests at heart and are delighted when they see their student making progress and moving up to the next level. When I taught at Coventry University, my greatest sense of satisfaction was to see students, who I had taught English to 3 or 4 years previously, come up to me and tell me that they had just graduated from their degree or Masters degree. They started out barely able to communicate in English and manage their lives in a new culture and ended up with a degree. I had played only a small, but nevertheless important, part in their journey.
Another aspect of a good teacher is a willingness to learn and develop. As Christians, an attitude of humility and willingness to learn is key – only with this attitude can we be the good teachers God wants us to be.
I believe that this is your calling and my calling. Have confidence that you have something valuable to share that you have learned from God and His word.