The church’s mission church is simple—make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20). Within this mission, pastor-teachers teach others to teach the Word: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Teaching takes place formally and includes directly teaching doctrine, but teaching takes place informally as well. A family teaches the leader when he is young, the church instructs him as well, and leaders then train these men to take their place in time. Consider two examples from Scripture.
First, consider Jesus and the disciples. Mark 3:13–15 speaks of how Jesus developed the disciples according to preference (“those whom he desired”), presence (“so that they might be with him”), preaching (“send them out to preach”) and power (“send them out…to cast out demons”). He singled out potential leaders, shared His life and ministry with them, and trained them to serve others.
Second, consider Paul and Timothy. Thanks to the ministry of Timothy’s family and his church (Acts 16:1–2; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15), Timothy earned for himself a good reputation of character and being knowledgeable of the Scriptures. As a result, “Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him” (Acts 16:3). Then, Paul’s teaching and example developed Timothy all the more (cf. Philippians 2:19–24). Like Jesus and the disciples, Paul chose Timothy, shared his life and ministry with him, and trained him to serve others.
It is easy to plan formal teaching. Informal training—letting one’s life impact another by spending time together—this training must be planned as well, something formally informal. If our church is going to develop leaders, both formal and informal training are essential. The pastors teach those who can teach, and by building relationships with these men in other settings, they pass on their way of life as well—their character, their wisdom, and more.
Seeing the value of formal and informal training, our pastors will begin a program next year entitled “Entrusting Faithful Men.” Those who teach the church will read through a volume a year of Rolland McCune’s Systematic Theology and meet at least six times each year to discuss what we are learning. Any men besides are welcome to join. Our church has a fund to provide these books to the men in order to invest in them and thus our church. Our pastors will meet informally with these men as well.
As it applies to the church, expect somebody new to try his hand at teaching from time to time. Pray that God would raise up teachers and leaders in our midst. If nothing else, just as we pray for our women to faithfully serve, love their husbands, and raise godly children, pray also for our men to know the Word and be better husbands, fathers, and examples. May the Lord bless our church as we are mindful to develop teachers and leaders in our midst.