Trying to teach someone how to do something that you do not do does not make much sense. I would never attempt to teach someone how to fly an airplane because I do not know how to pilot a plane. If you have never played guitar, it is likely you won’t take time today to teach someone how to play. We teach people things we know. We teach people things we do.
One of the easiest ways that I learn is by doing. I am a hands-on person so when I am trying to learn something, it is important that I learn by doing. What helps as well is seeing someone else teach by example. In the time of how-to videos, I’m sure you or someone you know is keen on watching instruction videos to help learn how to knot a tie or make a new recipe.
When teaching and leading others, we must be aware of the example we leave. That is the biggest lesson we provide. People watch what you are doing and hear what you are speaking. Any inconsistencies between what you say and what you do will be noted. If the words you speak and the actions you take do not line up well, your teaching and leading will not be very effective. Be transparent. Be consistent. Teach and lead by example.
“Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it.” – Romans 2:21-23 [NLT]
Timothy is told to pass on what was taught to him by the Apostle Paul. When we are taught something, we aren’t supposed to keep it just for ourselves. Paul was pouring a wealth of teaching upon Timothy. He was sharing great insight into the ministry of the Good News. He wanted this teaching to continue to pour out from Timothy to others. This is how the spread of the Gospel works. Ministry is a team effort.
If you look at the Early Church, you will find that those who were intimately involved with Jesus Christ during His early ministry rose up to spread the Good News. After his conversion, Paul did the same. Many of these people had small groups meeting together, sharing together, doing life together. This Good News was then spread by these people to others. As it was shared to some, it was passed on to many others. People were being equipped and empowered.
Too often we get caught up in thinking that the people in our lives will hear the Gospel from some pastor at a local church or on television. We think that ministry is all about someone speaking to the masses. But the Bible shows us that the Early Church spread the Gospel not simply by speaking to large groups, but by focusing on a small group who then passed on the great spiritual truths. Do not keep what you know about Jesus to yourself. What you learn, pass on. Whether you pass it on to your family, to your friends, or you start a small group or lead or teach at church—pass it on. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you share what you know, teach you more, and to show you who is ready with open ears to hear these spiritual truths.
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” – 2 Timothy 2:2 [NLT]