I want to continue the discussion about teaching in home groups at Visio Dei.
Last week I posted about the importance of teaching in our groups. You might summarize the post this way: teaching in our home groups can be difficult since it requires a good bit from the teachers, but it’s ultimately better for everyone since it basically requires that the members of the body of Christ use the gifts they have been given to build up the body!
It’s in this line of thought that I want to continue here with this question: What are we looking for from Biblical teachers in our home groups?
The truth is, if you google “Biblical teaching” you will get a gajillion hits. Every book you read on the subject will have a different definition. I am certainly no expert on the topic (read: I have no degree from any seminary or anything like that), but allow me to offer Visio Dei’s definition – Biblical teaching involves going to God’s word, receiving an insight from the Holy Spirit regarding a specific truth from God’s word, and then helping a person or group of persons absorb and act on that insight.
Like I said, I realize there are probably lots of definitions, but the one offered here is what we are going with 🙂
What I want to point out is that teaching and learning the Bible is all about the Holy Spirit.
First, according to chapters of the Bible like Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, the ability to teach the Bible effectively is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
[12:1] Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11 ESV)
Second, unless the Holy Spirit as at work in someone’s life, they won’t learn from Bible. There are many verses in the New Testament that could be quoted to make this point. No one probably said it quite as well as Jesus:
 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 ESV)
Later on in the New Testament, Paul makes this statement:
 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 ESV)
What we see in all of these verses is that its the Holy Spirit working in us that allows us to teach the Bible effectively. And it’s only the Holy Spirit working in the lives of others that allows US to teach THEM effectively. Teaching the Bible and understanding the Bible is all about the Holy Spirit.
How do you know if you have been given the gift of teaching? It seems like there are some basic questions you should ask yourself to start examining that question. Things like:
- Do you have an unusual thirst to learn spiritual things?
- Do you have an unusual ability to understand spiritual things?
- Do you have an unusual desire to teach others?
- Do you have a natural ability to teach others?
- Do people seem to really benefit from your teaching?
That’s far from an exhaustive list of questions and there is probably a lot more that goes into knowing whether or not you have been given the spiritual gift of teaching, but these questions are probably not a bad place to start.
Probably the best thing you can do if you are a home group teacher in a Visio Dei home group is pray about it! Pray that the Holy Spirit would give you insight into God’s word. Pray that you would be able to teach other people well. And pray that the Holy Spirit would be working in the lives of the people in your home group and that they would hear and understand and apply the truths in God’s word to their lives.
If you are a teacher in a Visio Dei home group know that the staff and elders here at Visio Dei are praying for you; that the Holy Spirit would show you truth in God’s word and that your teaching would be great. And if you are not a teacher in a Visio Dei home group then know that we are praying for you too; that the Holy Spirit would be working in your life to show you and help you learn to live by the truth that is in God’s word.