In the post, Arthur is responding to a critique of “cell groups” that do not have a single person teaching for the entire group. Arthur rightly points out that interaction and discussion are not dangerous, but are actually necessary for the growth of the church.
In his final two paragraphs, he concludes:
The church needs to stop being afraid of the laity, of open discussion, of questions. The church too often functions like the old Soviet Union when it comes to controlling the message. The result is a laity that is ill informed and immature. Guess what. They will never stop being immature if they are constantly coddled and spoon fed teaching. Pastors/elders need to remember that while they are called to watch over the church and be watchful for wolves, they are also called to equip the entire Body for ministry and mature faith.
Elders, the church is not a seething mass of potential heretics to be afeerd of. The are your brothers and sisters in Christ. The best defense against heresy is not to control the message, it is to equip and empower the entire Body. By definition a mature Christian is not a heretic so lets stop treating our brothers and sisters as if they are guilty of heresy until proven otherwise. (Emphasis in original)
Now, I think that Arthur makes a very good point. I think his point can be backed up by the examples and commands of Scripture. Christians do not grow in maturity by listening to someone else teach/preach.
However, I want to take this a step further. In the original post (the post critiqued by Arthur), the blogger writes, “In the typical cell group, no one actually teaches. Rather, one person will moderate a conversation.” Notice the assumption: if no one person is doing all the teaching, then no one is teaching, and in fact, no teaching is taking place.
In fact, during a conversation/discussion, it is possible that EVERYONE is teaching. And, beyond that, there is the possibility that MORE people are learning during a discussion than during a lecture.
Sometimes, those questions and opinions and observations that people add to a conversation/discussion are the most important lesson being taught.
I will add one more point here… regardless of who something is taught with words, whether it is though discussion or through lecture, the best lessons are taught and learned through living examples. If we are not sharing our lives with one another, then any type of teaching (lecture or discussion) will fall far short of actually helping someone mature in Jesus Christ.