Teaching to Learn to Teach
I’ve noticed something over the last few years. I learn best when I teach others what I’m learning. As I started to notice this, I began to see that this was the method Jesus and the Apostles used. In the Gospels, Jesus didn’t just teach his disciples. He taught them for a while, and then he sent them out to teach others what they had learned from him. Paul did the same thing and urged Timothy to follow his example, saying, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
You see, Jesus and Paul both knew they wouldn’t be around forever. Someone would have to carry on the faith and pass down the traditions after they were gone. So they did not just teach information. They taught others to teach. This was a key to their ministries and to the spread of Christianity.
There are two college guys that I am studying 1 John with and teaching right now. My challenge to them at the end of our last meeting was to take what we were studying together and teach it to someone in their lives. This accomplishes multiple purposes:
1) They learn the material better as they are challenged to understand it on the level required to teach it to someone else. This is especially true when that someone else asks questions.
2) They grow as they are challenged to apply what they are learning. It keeps them from stagnating.
3) Someone else gets the benefit of sound teaching from the Bible.
4) Hopefully, the person they teach it to, in turn, teaches someone else, and the faith is handed down to others!
So as you learn and teach others, do so with an eye toward multiplication. Learn for the purpose of teaching, and teach others that they may teach. In this way, we will continue to pass on the faith until our Lord returns!