With Good Teaching And Good Leaders, The Church Will Be OK, Yeah? Mmmm

I’ve just finished reading Nehemiah again. The final part, describing how Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem and finds that people have returned to their old ways, turned away from good things he put in place and ignored his good teaching, is rather heartbreaking.

Why did this happen? Was Nehemiah a good leader? I’m sure he was. Did he (and others) teach good stuff? I’m sure they did. What was the problem then? I would venture to say that the good direction the people had been given and the good teaching the people had heard did not, in too many cases, actually get into their hearts.

So with the Church today, do we think that good leaders giving a good example, and good teachers teaching solid Bible-based stuff, is enough to make sure the people in the Church keep following Jesus and doing his will?

If the example and the teaching never makes the transfer into people’s hearts, then no, it is absolutely not enough.

Too often leaders and teachers think that just talking at people will do the job. It won’t. I’m as guilty as anyone, having done my share of leading and teaching over the years.

Maybe we all need to talk at people rather less and share our lives and hearts with them rather more. Maybe we need to think an awful lot less about actions that are designed to make students and think an awful lot more about a way of life that will succeed in making disciples.

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One thought on “With Good Teaching And Good Leaders, The Church Will Be OK, Yeah? Mmmm”

  1. Hi Chris,
    I agree entirely that leaders need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, but ultimately for hearers of the Word, the choice is up to them (to a point!) and between them and God. We mustn’t underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the only One able to make any change in any heart (the other side of “up to a point”, above.) I believe that making disciples is what we are here for, but it is the Holy Spirit Who makes the difference, and transforms hearts and lives. Fortunately, it isn’t all down to us. All we are commanded to do is present the gospel; it is up to God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, to make the transformation in people’s lives – and not all will choose to be transformed. I believe that is why God sent His Holy Spirit, otherwise the work of making disciples would be down to us, and would no doubt long-since have failed. We must work in partnership with God in His work.
    We are at the Keswick Convention at the moment, receiving good teaching and joining some great worship and times of fellowship, and we are witnessing the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts and lives of folks here.
    Praying that the rest of your studies go well, and that you find your place in the Kingdom-building and disciple-making team in France.

    Blessings,

    Jim

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