What makes a great preacher or teacher?
The effective teacher always teaches from the over flow of a full life. If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow. The teacher is primarily a learner, a student among students. Think about it! As long as you live, you learn; and as long as you learn, you live.
If you want to minister to others, you need to ask God to minister to you. He wants to work through you, but he can’t until he works in you. If you want to strengthen your teaching, then ask God
to work on the teacher within you. You cannot communicate out of a vacuum. You cannot impart what you do not possess. You need to be growing in the Lord and in the skills to communicate and teach.
You need to be FAT, faithful, available and teachable. What you know in your head is not the determining factor. A great preacher or teacher is faithful in what he does, he is available for God’s service and he is a willing to learn.
You need the right attitude. Learning has nothing to do with age and everything to do with attitude. Some of the most exciting and fulfilled people you will ever meet are older people who have decided not to stop learning. Learn – or else you will slowly die mentally. And then you may as well lie down and we will put you in the box.
The Larger Picture of Growth
To strengthen your commitment to growth, remember that growing is something even the Lord Jesus did. In Luke 2:52 we see that Jesus grew in four areas. He grew in wisdom (intellectual development). He grew in stature (physical development). He grew in favour with God (spiritual development) and he grew in favour with men (social and emotional development).
You grow and develop when you work on all four areas. You cannot neglect one of these areas without endangering your growth in all of them. In the same way, you cannot grow in any one of these areas without also having an effect on all the others. We are all different so there is no one process to follow. You will need to set goals that will help you learn and develop into the person God has called you to be.
The Intellectual Development
You will need to maintain a consistent study and reading program. Understand that leaders are readers and readers are leaders.
You will need to enrol in continuing education courses that will improve not only your content but also your skills. The most important course is your own personal Bible study program. Great preachers and teachers are those people who have a strong personal intake of God’s word.
The Physical Development
Physical development is often the area evangelical Christians neglect most consistently because we are prone to deny our humanity. We talk about being filled or control by the Holy Spirit but the challenge is to what areas do we apply this and what areas we avoid.
Is your money under control? Are your material possessions under control? Is your sex life under control? Is your thought life under control? Is your diet under control? Is your exercise under control? Seeking balance in these areas life will help you in your physical development.
The Social and Emotional Development
Once we have been Christians for a while, we tend to isolate ourselves. We stick to the people we know instead of making friends with other people outside our circle of influence. We are God’s chosen people but we are not God’s frozen people. Step out and create new opportunities to meet new people. This will help you grow socially and emotionally.
The Spiritual Development
As said before, your spiritual development relates to intellectual, physical and social/emotional development. They are intertwined. What makes a great preacher? It is a commitment to growth.
How Are You Doing?
The greatest threat to your preaching and teaching is satisfaction – the failure to keep asking, “How can I improve?” The greatest threat to your ministry is your ministry. Don’t be so busy doing things and neglect the three important questions of self-examination. What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? What do I have to change?
You can purchase Dr Howard Hendricks book, Teaching To Change Lives, and read this material for yourself. You will not be disappointed. This is a book you will read on a regular basis.