Teaching is a core function of passing on the faith. There have been plenty of stories (and continue to) of people coming to Jesus without being taught about Jesus. The Holy Spirit moves as God wills. By and large, though, people need to be taught about Jesus.
Teachers of the Word, as some like to say, are very important to the passing on of the faith. They are not parents (in this context), they are not spiritual mentors (again, in this context). They teach the parents and the spiritual mentors in their faith so that they will pass it on. Preaching and teaching are the primary modes of this teaching.
What also was tied into teaching, was care. In today’s age, we call it being a pastor (or pastoring). It is not just the domain of Pastors, it is also the responsibility of elders (wisdom and duration, not age) in the faith. The reason this is part of it is in hopes to prevent people from introducing false beliefs and pulling people away from the faith.
The reason all of this is important is that there really is a call in scripture for there to be pastors, leaders, and elders. The purpose is for any to lord over other power and authority, but to help prevent people from adding and taking away pieces of the faith.
Many Christians now look at the church as an ancient tie that needs to be tossed away. Scripture does not give us that freedom, nor does human nature. In Robert Robinson’s hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, he writes, “…Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee…” It is nature of fallen humanity to wander away from God. Without accountability to something greater to ourselves, we will wander away. It may be with good intentions, but those intentions need to be tempered.
1) Whether teacher, pastor, “shepherd”, elder, parent, mentor, how is your passing on of the faith held accountable? If it is not, what can you do bring such accountability into your life?
2) What are some bad reasons, do you think, that people want to throw “church” into the trash bin? What are some good reasons?
3) What do you find beneficial in regards to church? What can you do to build that up with others?