Yesterday morning I excitedly began the process of turning research on the book of Revelation into an outline, that will eventually be used as notes for a Bible College class in September.
While exciting and fun, creating an outline that goes verse by verse through Revelation is a difficult process. Not to mention teaching that material on a college level!
What motivates me to work on those notes at 5:00 every morning (my brain works best in the morning)? The fact that mission fields need “teaching” as well as “preaching”
Now please understand I absolutely LOVE to preach! But there is a need for teaching ministries within the local Church because its goals are different;
- Preaching reveals the universal truth (principle) in a passage, teaching emphasizes the background, or minor details
- Preaching leads towards life-change (Salvation), teaching leads towards preparation or equipping for ministry
- Preaching is incredibly sharp (focus on one point), while teaching can cover a large subject
- Preaching challenges the heart, teaching challenges the mind
- Preaching is a flashlight that shines on the truth of God’s Word, teaching fills a spiritual toolbox, and explains how to use each one
Of course there are some similarities between these two proclaiming ministries. However there is definitely a need for both on mission fields
Believers on the mission field must have the “spiritual toolbox” that comes from deep teaching or Systematic Theology that can think through hard questions, and explain clearly the teachings of Scripture.
Without strong teaching they will:
- fall prey to false Doctrine
- Be deceived by men who preach personal opinion instead of Scripture
- Be unable to defend their own personal beliefs
- Hold to “religion” instead of a “relationship with God”
- And as I’ve heard it explained, get “baby food” in their Bible reading instead of “steak”
Are there easier things to be doing every morning than trying to understand the Sovereignty of God (for my Theology class) or who the second beast is in Revelation? Of course! But clear passionate preaching must be walk hand in hand with academic teaching.