Teaching Disciples

Retirement is a wonderful thing. Most of us are planning for it, paying for it, and looking forward to it. However, let us take care in applying secular concepts to Christianity. Christians are teachers and the church is always looking for good Bible teachers; finding them is oftentimes a desperate exercise in frustration. The lack of qualified Bible teachers is merely a symptom of a great opportunity passing us by; we must be better disciples.

Jesus’s followers were called disciples. Have we lost touch with the meaning and spirit of what it is to be a disciple? Have we retired? Christians are students and constantly changing their lives to match their Master. As long as you are a disciple, you are a learner (Matthew 11:28-30). And, it is safe to say, if you stop growing today, you will stop teaching tomorrow; you cannot teach what you do not know (2 Timothy 2:2).

Many have never taught and have no plans to, having become so non-productive in the Lord’s vineyard that they are, at best, a vegetable and maybe more akin to a weed. As we age, physical limitations will modify our abilities or stamina but we should not allow them to bind our mind.

We never retire from discipleship! A disciple learns from the past but does not live in it (Philippians 3:13-14). The Lord is well aware of what you used to do; He asks: what are you doing now? Waxing eloquent about the glory days while the church dies a slow, agonizing death is an embarrassment. We must accept that Christianity is the only profession in which one retires and dies at the same time (Revelation 2:10).

God chose us, frail earthen vessels, as conduits for the water of life (2 Corinthians 4:7). We must be active in Bible teaching. In a sinful world amidst a dearth of godly knowledge where the Bible has never been so accessible, we have a unique opportunity to spread life and light. If we fail to teach, we fail as a disciple; and, for someone, that failure is eternal.

JDS