Committed, Faithful, Teachers

November 19, 2017

2Ti 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

As Paul told King Agrippa, “this thing was not done in a corner” there were many witnesses still alive that had seen Christ risen from the dead. There were many witnesses of Paul’s teaching who were changed by it and those who testified that Paul was called to teach and preach and even to verify his message. Thus Timothy was not getting some esoteric or special message like some claim to have have over the centuries. He was getting the real deal vetted by many including Peter and the elders of the Jerusalem Council.

From G3844 and G5087; to place alongside, that is, present (food, truth); by implication to deposit (as a trust or for protection): – allege, commend, commit (the keeping of), put forth, set before.

Timothy was receiving this training and message from Paul because Paul knew him to be a faithful man. He committed or deposited this message Timothy with the understanding that Timothy was to do the same.

Sometimes we train men, but we do not really commit the message to them. Some pastors and missionaries do not back off and let the men they trained go out and do the work without constant micro-management. This often disheartens the men and they give up. Often they feel very inadequate because the micro-management conveys a lack of trust in their understanding of the message or their gifting. Some quench the style or methods the men use as if the mentor’s way is the only way. The message never changes, but the delivery can change. While indeed you should not lay hands on no man suddenly there comes a time when you need to cut loose and truly commit the message to those you trained.

Sometimes that means you need to back off completely. There is a story told of a famous preacher that though he retired and became “Pastor Emeritus” he still sat on the podium. This became a problem for the new pastor. He said anytime he said something that was a new concept to the people he could see them lean to the left of the podium to see the famous man’s reaction. Eventually, that pastor left because the church was not fully committed to him by the former pastor or the congregation. They only partially committed it to him. The former pastor should have sat in the back roll, the balcony or maybe even in another church to show his full commitment to the new pastor.

Thus when you commit the message to the men commit it and let God use them. Be a resource, but not a micro-manager or you may see less than optimal results of your mentoring.

From G3982; objectively trustworthy; subjectively trustful: – believe (-ing, -r), faithful (-ly), sure, true.

There are various types of faithfulness. Sometimes we can find men faithful in many, many areas and we think they are excellent candidates to train to be trainers. Sometimes it does not work that way. They will attend all your classes faithfully. They will complete all assigned work in an excellent manner. They may be full of faith, but they never become trainers. They have a ton of knowledge, but they hoard it to themselves. Indeed, there are many Christians in our pews that may not have the gift of teaching as we think of it, but they really are apt or able to teach somewhere with the knowledge they have. They just do not have the zeal or confidence to do it.

I once interviewed at a church and the man on the board mentioned that there were no male teachers of any kind in the church, not even the deacons. I said I did not see how that could be since most of the men in the church were middle-aged and above having been saved for many years. Surely, they could teach in some capacity or level. Some thought they needed seminary training and yet none of their women teachers had that.

So no pastor of that church ever found faithful men that he could mentor to train others? They were faithful in many things, but not in spreading the Gospel and training others to do that. I am not sure who is at fault the previous pastors, the men or both, but the situation was very sad. That church folded, but some others restarted it years later. Last I heard they were doing well. Some faithful folks showed up, I reckon.

So picking faithful men requires they have a zeal and desire to teach, not just to learn. In the context, the passage is speaking of training pastors or evangelists, but there are many other ways to teach or mentor. After all, we are all called to give a reason of the home that lies within us so we are teachers as we journey through life if we understand our identity and why we are here. Yet, if we do not have those willing to faithfully learn and teach how will the Body learn to do what we are called to do; witness, win souls and teach all that Christ and the Apostles taught?

We must equip pastor-teachers, but we must also equip people to be able to obey the Great Commission. If we are, as someone said, the only Bible some will ever read then we need to know who we are, what we need to know, and how to teach it or we are giving people the wrong version of the Bible.

What about you? Are you someone faithful and teaching the Gospel you know and will you be willing to have more committed to you?

Greek definitions from Strong’s Concordance as distributed by E-Sword