Equipped – To Teach (Five Ways)

My notes from Ivy’s latest ‘Equipped To Lead’ event:

Lucy Peppiatt Crawley – The Bible’s Five Fold Teaching Gift


Teachers are those who believe they have truths to impart. There’s something they want to pass on.

Jude talks about ‘the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints.’ You have been entrusted with something! Part of your calling then is to learn how to teach.

And there’s more than one way to do it.

Teaching has to do something. Impartation for action – that leads to change. All real teachers want to see that.

Teaching is at the heart of the Christian faith. Because Jesus was a teacher- he came as a Rabbi. He gathered disciples to teach them, to teach others to obey all he’d taught them. You can’t make disciples without teaching.

In the early church they would have around three years teaching before they’d be baptized people.

Proverbs 24:3,4 

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

You can’t get knowledge without learning. Some people are fortunate enough to be fast learners, but we all have to learn. Knowing your Bible takes commitment and time. Don’t try and rush it, but keep taking it in.

2 Tim 3:16-17 says it’s useful for teaching!

The Holy Spirit is a teacher. (Jn 14:26) 

We can’t tell others about our faith unless we’re able to teach them. 

Pitfalls for the Church?

We can have too narrow a paradigm of teaching (you have to be a man, over fifty, with three points)

We can think it has to look like ‘me’, so we fail to recognize the different ways God can teach.

We can minimize the importance of learning  – and trade it for ‘inspiration.’

We can love teaching more than Jesus. (You are not to be called ‘teacher…’)

Remember above all to be careful, if you’re a teacher – that your life matches your words. James 3:1 ‘Not many of you should presume to be teachers, you’ll face a stricter judgement)

How should we teach?

How do we take this unchanging gospel – and make it connect to a changing culture? How do we incarnate it?

God teaches us through the Bible – we can learn from looking at how has he taught us through that.

Five Ways Teaching Happens: (some people blend them, these aren’t boxes)

  • Teaching as law (Moses)

All the law books come out of his time period. Torah means ‘instruction’ and comes from the root verb ‘to teach.’ Ezra was another law teacher. Some people teach like this and are very strong on ethical imperatives. They want to instil the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. The narrow path. The one way.

We have to be careful here not to become legalistic. Pharisees.

Weigh against it with compassion. When grace softens your heart, you can bring the law in a way people want to obey it.

  • Teaching as wisdom (Proverbs, Psalms)

When you read proverbs you think ‘That’s not giving all the answers, but it’s so wise. These people know how life works.’ There are people who teach as wisdom. They want to pass on skills to others. E.g. on Marriage, parenting, money. If that’s you, make sure you get ‘the wisdom that comes from heaven’ (James). Get it from scripture. He wants to give you wisdom to impart to others. In Proverbs remember wisdom is a woman. There’s a pastoral discernment she has. Don’t lose your moorings – stay in scripture. This is not just tellers of what to do, but teachers of how to live life well. And the world is ready and waiting to hear that kind of wisdom!

  • Teaching as parable (Jesus)

Parabolic teachers tell you a story and even confuse you a little, then leave you to work it out. Generative not dogmatic. They require a response of thinking. Lots of stories, illustrations. Get the groundwork done first, of knowing the Bible, know the Kingdom principles, then you can bring a prophetic insight.

  • Teaching as revelation 

Yes, it’s all revelation, but there are times when God gives someone something new and they open it up and everyone gets it and says ‘Oh yeah…’, but it’s a surprise. The disciples asked Jesus, ‘teach us to pray’ because they saw he had some revelation about it.

Paul talks about ‘mystery’ that was made known, that has been revealed. That the gospel is for all. That revelation underpinned everything for him.

  • Teaching Doctrine (Paul)

This is why Paul wrote all those letters! He’s teaching people what to believe, that will change the way you behave. Without that, all you have is knowledge. If you really start to study God, it’s like being thrown into an ocean. Teachers of doctrine take you in deep and show you the riches there.

Worship leaders are teachers too. They should be MADE to do theology! They are to teach through ‘psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’. You’re teaching the church every time you choose a song!

Gifts to look out for and develop this gift…

Enquiring, questioning, loving reading and studying, willingness to invest time.

WARNING: Knowledge is power… don’t let it ‘puff you up!’