This morning, I published a post about terms related to teaching in the New Testament. (See my post “New Testament Terms Related to Teaching.”) I was happy to find that another blogger that I respect greatly has come to some of the same conclusions as me concerning teaching.
His post primarily revolves around considering this question: “What is most beneficial in helping someone mature as a follower of Jesus Christ?” He concludes that what is typically called “doctrinal teaching” is not very helpful at helping a brother or sister mature in Christ… yes, even good doctrinal teaching.
Here is a small part of Bobby’s excellent post:
Maturity comes through experiencing the Life of Christ in us as we walk in the Spirit not through endless preaching and teaching of historical creeds and confessions. If we want to mature we must have relationships with others who are more mature than us and imitate their way of life. If we want to help others mature we must walk through life with them and live a life worth imitating. But first we gotta stop barking up the wrong tree and decide instead to hike our leg on it and move on.
But, in fact, what Bobby talks about IS what Scripture calls “doctrine.” The idea that teaching/doctrine is speaking or lecturing about Scripture is not found in the New Testament. Certainly, this type of activity can be part of teaching, but it is a small part. Teaching in the New Testament is primarily one of observation (i.e., watching how another believer lives) and imitation (i.e., living in a similar manner).
The fact that the church has replaced demonstration/observation/imitation with lecture is one of the reasons (I think) that so many believers remain immature today.
So, read the remainder of Bobby’s post, and comment there. Then, tell us here what you think about his post and my response above.