the weblog of Alan Knox

You can hold their attention with a sermon/lesson, but do they learn from your way of life?

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in comment highlights, discipleship | 2 comments

You can hold their attention with a sermon/lesson, but do they learn from your way of life?

This is a comment from Vincent. According to his comment, he is a new reader here. But, this week, he left an awesome comment on my post “What is teaching from the perspective of Scripture?

In his comment, he expressed many of the same ideas that I was trying to get across in the post. Plus, he expressed it in a much more personal manner than I did.

I hope you enjoy his comment as much as I did. (Thanks, Vincent!)

Just this year I have really struggled with being the example of all I’ve taught. Years ago, the Lord called me to teach and I’ve always found myself in settings where I was teaching and often those older than me or in different life settings. For example, one of my first classes I was called to teach, was a married couples class and I was single. Now today, as a married man, I teach a class containing many of the elders in my church. From seminary, I too learned “explanation, illustration, application.” Because I often received comments on my teaching style and people enjoyed my teaching I believed I was often doing all the Lord had called me to. I was always only concerned my lessons were biblically based, which is important of course.

But recently I was really struggling with “doing all the Lord had called me to.” I say this because I realized (or it was probably more like the H.S. showed me) I was not living out all I was teaching. When I hear K.P. Yohannan speak for example, I can’t help but stop in my tracks to hear him, because I know he is speaking from all he has lived and experienced. The words of scripture come alive because he is living proof of all he is teaching. Even in the elder class I teach, there is a couple in there that are Wycliffe translators who, when they’re not traveling, are in our class. When they raise their hand to speak I hold on to all they say and think they should be teaching not me. It is because they are living examples, again, of what scripture is. I am a Voice of the Martyrs representative in Tucson, AZ. I often struggle to be their voice because I see a huge gulf between their way of life and mine (but his is a whole other topic.) But even when I would pick up a book by Richard Wurmbrand, the found of the Voice of the Martyrs, I cling to every word because he teaches from the life of a man who endured suffering for Christ.

I am truly learning and have been learning that right believing does not always translate into right living. I must be living right. Again, I must confess, while I might be able to hold a class’ attention to my lesson, I don’t see these same people flocking after me during the week to follow my way of life! Shame on me right? Your article seemed to be written at just the right time as I have been thinking about the fact that teaching is more than the transfer and discussion of knowledge. I find I have always been attracted to those whose lives are living examples of the faith and I want to be around them. Yes, teaching is more than just information, it is a way of life!


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  1. 2-5-2012

    I completely agree with Vincent’s comments. I too, struggle with living what I teach. And, I believe we should. (Kinda writing here from the other side of the coin).
    What I mean is if we think that we are truly living what we teach, we are in trouble. Pride is the problem. Now that is no excuse for us not to live what we teach. But we do fall short all the time. Wanting to do right and doing right are often, unfortunately, is the case with all of us.
    I had lunch with K.P. Yohannan at a pastors conference one (there were 6 of us at the table). Most of us were wise enough to keep our mouths shut. Yet here was K.P. asking us about our ministries and how we were doing! He lives with a target on his chest and he was concerned about us. He had spoken earlier and you could hear a pin drop. Then here at lunch was this “regular guy,” just talking about Jesus. It was a wonderful time. And I would venture to guess, that if you asked him if he struggled with living out what he teaches, he would admit to falling short also. But as Paul said, “I press on…” And so do I.
    Grace and peace…

  2. 2-7-2012


    It sounds like Yohannan was teaching a great lesson to everyone around by asking about others.