by Eddie Snipes

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Responsibility of Leaders (2 of 2)
Three Principles of Discipleship
Eddie Snipes
Matthew 28:18-20

2. Teaching
The next step in discipleship is teaching. The relationship side of discipleship gets off target because we have been taught that these two go together. The relationship may produce opportunities to share and teach each other, but the focus isn't to teach. In most churches, there are ample opportunities to teach and have Bible studies. Teaching is equally as important as relationships. The biggest failure in teaching discipleship is that the teachers often do not have adequate preparation. Some people are very good at spontaneous teaching without notes or outlines. I am not. Even those who are unstructured in their teaching style must take time to study and be preparation in order to be effective.

I once had a Sunday school teacher who never studied and believed it was unnecessary. He would open the Bible and say, "Let's see where God leads us." That might have been ok if he understood what he was reading, but he had nothing to offer. He believed (and I have heard this said many times) that we are to take no thought for what we will say, for the Spirit will reveal it when we need it. That is quite a bit out of context. This idea is a misinterpretation of Matthew 10:18-20. If you read that statement in context, Jesus was warning His disciples that when He was gone, they would suffer great persecution. He followed this warning by saying not to worry about what you will say when you are brought before governors and kings, for your Heavenly Father will speak through you by the Holy Spirit. That passage is not saying that we will miraculously know scripture that we haven't studied when we stand before a class.

The Bible teaches quite the opposite. Proverbs 16:1 says, "The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD." Time to study is the responsibility of a teacher. We are to prepare our heart by conformi ...

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