Everybody a teacher?

According to the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, everybody should be a teacher after a while. Having listened to sermons for years, having attended bible-class or courses, having read the bible and Christian books, everybody knows how Christian faith works and can help other believers in that area, isn’t it?

Is it possible to be a teacher just like that? Shouldn’t you have studied theology of at least finished a bible school to be able to explain faith well to others?

Jesus selected his disciples for their high IQ, so they would understand His message and could explain it also to higher educated people. There was a special education for apostles, teachers and evangelists, so they would be fully equipped to go to the ends of the earth. And Paul underlined the importance of a good theological education from his own experience. Or not?

Before misunderstandings arise; I am a great supporter of a solid theological education. I also am a great supporter of reflection of the faith on a scientific level. We have access to knowledge, insight and experiences of thousands of people, accumulated in thousands of years. We are able to study, question, discuss, adapt and continue all this. In this way we progress more and more in understanding and applying Gods word.

But it is not necessary to have a bachelor of master in theology to be able to be a teacher. It is necessary though to have been a student. You must have been listening and you must have done your homework; practising with what you have heard. What do you think of it? Do you understand it? Why do/don’t you agree? How will you apply it? Talk about it and ask questions until you master it and you can reproduce it in your own words. This way you grow in your faith. From a baby you grow into an adult. From drinking milk you slowly get used to solid food. You are standing more and more firm in your shoes. Your faith doesn’t wobble when it is pushed at. ‘By reason of use you have your senses exercised to discern both good and evil’.

You are a teacher when you can accompany people through the steps you yourself have gone through. You don’t get upset that quickly any more by their questions, because you have had them yourself. You know where to find answers or you can explain how to deal with questions you don’t know the answers to.

If you want to grow even further as a teacher, then go and listen to sermons from outside your own ecclesiastical orientation. Read books or blogs from people outside of the comfort zone of your own dogmas. Be astonished, questioned upon, provoked, irritated and surprised by other thinking. It will allow you to rethink your own beliefs. The richer your own life of faith, the more you can transfer.

Test them all; hold on to what is good”

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