Ephesians 4:11 – Training Teachers
Ephesians 4:11 – Training Teachers

Ephesians 4:11 – Training Teachers

Greetings again from Uganda!  I leave today for a conference with BAM (Business as Mission) in South Asia.  This past week was a very busy week with conferences in three different parts of Uganda: Kampala, Soroti, and Bukwo.  Uganda is a beautiful country and it was a very enjoyable week.  I look forward to this coming week in India and learning how BAM is being implemented in different parts of Asia, while sharing about the potential for BAM to integrate more with the local church.

This past week I spoke a lot about Ephesians 4 and the call for all Christians to recognize that they are in fulltime ministry – either in foreign missions (the minority) or home missions (the majority).  Their fulltime job description is to glorify God and their specific locations of where they do this are very different.  We pleaded with pastors to recognize their positions as coaches to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, so that they grow in ministry to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers in every place and space.  We encouraged pastors (coaches) to understand their “players,” what their strengths and weaknesses are, what their individual parishes are and the opportunities and challenges in those places.  We saw our message resonate as pastors recognized that there has been too much focus on the building, and not enough on equipping the members for when they are scattered.

And so this week, we see the last of the five-fold ministry listed in Ephesians 4: teachers.  We are to be teachers of the gospel of Christ, discerning true from false doctrine.  The church and culture are changing quickly in many places.  There are many false teachings that abound.  This week I heard that poverty is equated to holiness, therefore wealth is considered sin; that only pastors are called to full-time ministry; that pastors are to be given free things at every business where their members work as a sign of respect; that pastors should never do business, even if the church is hardly able to support them.  Every culture has their false teachings and so we need to continue to teach, learn, and be shaped by the Biblical worldview.  All Christians need to be prepared and ready to teach when given the opportunity.  

We do this more naturally with our children, but there is great potential in the workplace where we will have the opportunity to exercise the gift of teaching.  The best teaching comes in the context of a good and trusted relationship. Think of a favorite teacher you had growing up and the qualities that he/she showed. Some of the best teaching comes by asking questions rather than providing answers. Especially in the workplace with other adults, remember that the majority of teaching that is done is non-verbal! That is why it is said, “Preach constantly. When necessary, use words.” (Quote credited to St. Francis of Assisi but many do not think it came from him.)

Thank you for your continued prayers for the seeds being sown!

The beautiful creation, the flourishing of farms, the jubilant fields.  Such beauty to behold!
The training team in Soroti, with speakers from Dordt and Calvin University, as well as the CRC in Nigeria, and others!
The leader of the Lema Institute, Rev. Joshua Amaezechi, a Nigerian-American who lives in Michigan, and coordinates this work in Uganda and Nigeria.
My dear sister in Uganda, Grace Koelewijn.  Love this lady!
The Nile River in Uganda
The bridge over the Nile River