In the previous post we stressed the importance of looking for teachers filled with the right qualities. We used 1 Corinthians 15:58 to suggest what some of those qualities might be —
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
But, how will we know if people have these qualities?
What It Takes for Teachers to be Filled with the Right Qualities:
If prospective teachers exhibit the following, we can know they are headed in the right direction. They may not have as deep of conviction or be as fully confident in the Lord as we might desire, but they have the right foundation on which to build and further develop these qualities.
1) An understanding of the Gospel
The word “Therefore” with which 1 Corinthians 15:58 begins suggests the qualities in the verse will grow out of what preceded this verse. The context takes us back to the Gospel wherein we see Jesus not only dying but also being raised from the dead, making Him victorious over sin and death. Because of this Gospel, we too have hope for victory in this life as well as eternal purpose.
2) A relationship with God made possible because of the Gospel
Paul addressed the readers as “brothers and sisters” or brethren, fellow members of God’s family. If you aren’t in a Gospel-believing church, don’t expect your teachers to be filled with the right qualities. If you are sure your teachers or prospective teachers have put their trust in Jesus alone and what He did on the cross for them, yet still don’t exhibit these traits, perhaps you need to take them back to their roots in the Gospel (2 Pet. 1:8-9), reminding them of what Jesus has done and the difference that makes in their teaching.
3) A realization that what they are doing is for and about God
We are to give ourselves fully to the work “of the Lord.” Ministry in the Church, such as teaching, must be seen as a work for and about God, not of ourselves or the Church. Even in recruiting, make sure people’s allegiance is in the right place. We need commitment that stems from an accountability first and foremost to the Lord for it to provide sufficient holding power to keep people committed.
4) A reliance on the Lord’s wisdom and power
Notice that “labor IN THE LORD” is not in vain.” When we teach God’s Word relying on His power and not our own strength and understanding, we can count on something happening (Isa. 55:11). Therein comes the needed confidence and hope of impacting people’s lives.
When people serve in your church in any capacity, whether that be teaching or any other kind of ministry, they need this foundation. If they don’t, you aren’t going to find the right qualities within them to have the right motivations or to produce the right outcomes.