In a previous post we looked at the pastor as a shepherd. Part of shepherding is teaching the sheep. The scripture very plainly shows us that God gives us pastors in order to equip us for the work of the ministry. There are a lot of things that a pastor does, however, the one thing that he must do is teach the people that God has entrusted into his care. In considering the pastor as a teacher, there are several principles to keep in mind.
1. Teach the truth.
The pastor has the God-given responsibility to teach the full counsel of God’s Word. This must done by simply preaching through the scriptures. When the pastor stands in the pulpit, he is to be the mouth piece of God. He is to share with the people what God has given him to share. This is done by expounding on the scriptures. God speaks to us today through his Word. Pastors are to proclaim the Word, expound on the Word, explain the Word, and apply the Word. A pastor does well to be a life long student. Long hours must be spent in the study in order to effectively teach the truth.
2. Live the truth.
The best teaching is done outside the pulpit. A pastor must live out what he preaches. He must teach by example. A good pastor will also look for teachable moments to share truth in every day life scenarios. This is done by spending time with people and considering every contact as an opportunity to teach truth.
3. Structure the truth.
The pastor has the primary responsibility of overseeing the entire teaching ministry of the church. He must set the stage. Through much prayer and study, he must carefully determine what the church needs to be taught, when it should be taught, and how it should be taught. The pastor should organize small group Bible studies such as Sunday School as well as the pulpit ministry to effectively communicate truth. The pastor should have certain organizational and administrative skills in order to structure the teaching ministry of the church.
There are many things that apply to the pastor as a teacher. However, we must not fail to mention that the pastor as a teacher begins with preparation. The pastor must spend time in the study of God’s Word and be prepared to teach both in the pulpit, classroom, the home, and in every life circumstance. His teaching also begins in the home. If he cannot teach his own children, how can he teach God’s people? Pastor, don’t just preach, but teach. Teach the whole truth. Live out that truth, teaching by example. Apply the truth to real life situations. The pastor must be a teacher.