The Ministry of Teaching

In this chapter we will consider many aspects of the ministry of teaching. Teaching is the responsibility of apostles, prophets, evangelists,[1] pastors/elders/overseers, teachers (of course), and to some degree, all followers of Christ, as we are all supposed to be making disciples, teaching our disciples to obey all that Christ commanded.[2]

As I’ve previously emphasized, the disciple-making pastor or minister teaches first by his example, and second, verbally. He preaches what he practices. The apostle Paul, a very successful disciple-maker, wrote:

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).

This should be every minister’s goal—to be able to honestly say to those he leads, “Act like me. If you want to know how a follower of Christ lives his life, just watch me.”

By comparison, I can remember telling a former congregation that I pastored, “Don’t follow me…follow Christ!” Although it didn’t occur to me at the time, I was admitting that I was not a good example to follow. In fact, I was actually admitting that I was not following Christ as I should, and then telling everyone else to do what I wasn’t doing! How different this was from what Paul said. In truth, if we can’t tell people to imitate us because we are imitating Christ, we should not be in the ministry, because people use ministers as their role models. The church is a reflection of its leaders.


[1] There isn’t anything you could do to make God love you any more or less than He does right now.

[2] There is nothing you could do that would make God stop loving you.