Teachers#4. “Let not many of you be teachers” (Jm.3:1).

Teachers#4. “Let not many of you be teachers” (Jm.3:1).

In this day when many congregations struggle to find enough willing preachers and Bible class teachers, James’ caution to, “Let not many of you be teachers,” might seem a little redundant.

However, it is in such an environment that this caution is most needed, but sadly, least heeded. It is when congregations find themselves encouraging teachers to ‘please get involved’ that some who are stepping-up who should instead be staying-back.

James is not talking about Bible class teachers with strange idiosyncrasies. If every teacher was carefully scrutinized for eccentricities, peculiarities and personal quirks, we would all have to sit down and stay quiet – speaking for myself.

James is speaking to would-be teachers in the context of the general lack of control over the use of the tongue. If the average person finds it nigh on impossible to speak without making a mess of faith and friendship, how much harder will it be for a leader. Yes, teachers lead, and as leaders, are accountable for where their teachings lead their hearers.

Teachers must be tested. First and foremost, there must be self-evaluation. Self-examination of faith, knowledge, and integrity, though standard to the godly teacher, are dangerously assumed by others. Doubts, lack of insight or personal issues are not to be carried to the front. It is no time to discover that you are completely out of your depth when standing before a class. Secondly, teachers must be tested by the congregation. This testing must be a part of the spiritual culture of the congregation. Those who live Christ like lives, know their Bibles, and are able to teach, are to be the recognized teachers and the resident mentors. The congregation has standards that those wanting to be teachers are to aspire to.

However, if good looks, charm, and a silver tongue replace godly virtues as the standards, it is then that the church must undergo its own self-evaluation. The church is where it is today because of good and bad teachers. We have good teachers only when it is the voice of Jesus, The Master Teacher, that is heard in our churches.

John Staiger


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