It's a controversial question. One you've probably heard whilst at St. Helens.
Let's make sure we're clear. We're saying every Christian at St Helen's, should ask this question of themselves at least once. For many, the answer is no, and that's okay, but let's explain why everyone should still ask this question.
Everyone should ask... this is a just a case of asking the question. Honestly, does it look like God has given me the gift to teach His word (as affirmed by my elders), am I godly and do I want to? We should always remember there is no assumption about the answer. Nor in fact, is there a 'right answer'.
...is full time bible teaching ministry for me? that needs no explanation, it's as controversial as it sounds. Especially in our career driven environment.
Why is this question the right question for everybody to be asking? So you know where we are getting our logic, we'll be using the pastoral epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus) to answer. They'd be books worth reading because they are the manuals God has given us for ministry.
For some the answer will be no...
2 Timothy 2:2 tells us the church needs faithful men who are able to teach, who according to Titus 1:5-9 have themselves been changed by truth!
You might not have Bible teaching gifts; that's fine! Praise the Lord for other gifts that He has given you. We still think it's worth considering the question. Because having considered what's needed in church leadership- we'll be more likely to stand behind the right thing, the right convictions, and the faithful men.
Imagine the faithful Bible teacher in 'snodgrove under the motorway', he needs mature ministry minded folk. He needs you, and his church needs you.
For some the answer will be maybe...
For many of us, we never make the decision, because we never ask this hard question of ourselves. Why not ask it now? The answer may not be yes yet, but what's your trajectory?
Are you someone who has Bible teaching gifts? Have you asked you RML group if you have gifts - they'll know you best after all. Why not study the pastoral epistles and see what God needs in a good Bible teacher. Why not get practising? Are your gifts being affirmed by your church leaders that know you too?
Are you someone who is godly? Are you willing to put in the hard work of making progress in godliness (1 Timothy 4:8, Titus 1:5-9)? Even if you never become a Bible teacher, Paul says its of great value 'as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come'.
Do you want to do it?! It's really essential that you desire to shepherd the flock. 1 Peter 5:2 puts it that you're 'not under compulsion but willingly'. If you don't want to, then pray that the Lord might stir your heart. If He doesn't, then that's okay, keep praying it through.
Imagine you're the faithful Bible teacher in 'snodgrove under the motorway', will you value these years of growing in faithfulness and godliness like God does? Your church certainly will.
For some the answer will be yes!
The church everywhere desperately needs faithful Bible teachers.
Paul shows us that in our world of false teachers (1 Timothy 1: 3-11), in a time of godlessness (2 Timothy 3:1-9), in a culture which hates truth (Titus 1:10-16), God has a way of keeping the gospel. His ordained way of preserving truth, is having faithful teachers of the truth (1 Timothy 4:16, 2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 1:9).
Imagine...Those who can—teach!