Teach Our Children
Dr. John K. Mathew
In His farewell message, our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Later on, His beloved apostle Paul admonished his beloved son Timothy to entrust this doctrine to reliable men, who will also be qualified to teach others.
This admonition clearly depicts the importance of teaching. The church needs reliable teachers to teach the truth, yet, somehow this ministry has been neglected in the church down the road. Knowingly or unknowingly, a wrong notion crept into the church that deems preaching as the best ministry. As a matter of fact, all ministries are equally important, since God established them. Each is important because they are given to prepare God’s people for service in order that the body of Christ is built up.
We know that teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. When we neglect teaching, we neglect learning. We live in a changing world. The amount and availability of information doubles every twenty-four hours. If we don’t keep up with the changing pace, we lag behind. The West has advanced a lot in terms of education. Adult education often becomes a laughing matter in our culture. How many pastors in our culture are willing to attend classes for six months? They are all too comfortable with the knowledge they received twenty or thirty years earlier, prior to the World Wide Web. We have become disconnected over the years with the lack of teaching and learning.
Teaching was an Old Testament concept too. The book of Deuteronomy repeatedly makes this point: “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of.” God knew that the people would perish due to lack of knowledge and maturity.
More than anything else our Lord Jesus Christ was a teacher. In fact, He was the Master Teacher. Benjamin Bloom of the University of Chicago has suggested five key criterions for identifying master teachers. All of which we can find in Jesus. A master teacher:
1. Has superior knowledge of the subject
2. Has skill in teaching
3. Commands respect from students
4. Constantly nurtures the students on the subject
5. Produces demonstrable results
A teacher affects eternity. He can give a pupil hope. With hope there is reason to look towards the future. We have to return to the old glory days of good teaching. Allow me to quote Dr. Thomson K. Mathews: “Teaching is very important. Teaching produces mature disciples who become imitators of the Master Teacher, Jesus, in this generation''.
May we learn from Jesus and teach and disciple our children.