This month I’m going to take some time off from my team building and care series to talk about something equally as important to you and your team.
I have been reminded a lot lately how important it is to be teachable when it comes to ministry, theological study or even just in regular study of the bible. In the past week I’ve seen the joy of learning something new in my own life and in the lives of others, and I’ve seen the effects of someone who is not teachable. Being teachable may be the single most important peripheral attitude we can adopt in Ministry.
Many of you have read Angel’s article on the subject, this is something that I’ve seen her adopt and it has allowed to grow both as a believer and as a leader. But what about those who aren’t? Recently I was in a conversation with some friends that got fairly heated. Now me and the friend who were on one side of the discussion were simply giving our opinions based on 3 and 4 years of theological study of our own. The other person was arguing from a very fundamentalist and presuppositional standpoint. Now there’s nothing wrong with Presupposition thinking, the idea that Scripture proves scripture is good, it has its flaws but I’m not here to argue apologetics.
In the end, despite all the systematic theology, despite all the hermenutical arguments the person continued to insist that they were right and we were wrong. Me and my friend left the discussion feeling hurt and offended and angry. This wasn’t the first time that this person, who is younger and less studied than the people they were arguing with has done this, in fact it happened today and it will probably happen again.
Now, let me put in a disclaimer, I do not know it all, nor will I ever, but there is something to be said for much study and Exegesis. The fact that this person told me very plainly that I didn’t know what I was talking about despite independent study on the issue and taking an entire class devoted to the subject was stunning. Now I may have been wrong on the issue, but I never said I was right either. I did learn a long time ago though to respect your elders, no matter how few years there may be in between.
If we are not teachable we are never going to be able to minister. When it comes to scripture, and ministry, I believe we have a duty to seek those older than us. It has been a huge benefit to me to have men and even women who are older than me helping me guide my ministry. My dad used to get calls from the senior pastor at a local church back home, asking for advice on a text. Both men benefited and I could see those benefits growing up in both the local pastors preaching and my father’s preaching.
Let me be blunt; we do not know everything, the minute you think you do is the moment you become a legalist. God puts people older and wiser around us in ministry for a reason. That may be a local priest a college professor or even an older gentlemen who has lived in your city or town for years. We need to learn to ask questions of these people, and then we need to listen to them so that they can instill in us the wisdom God has given them.
Be teachable, and let God do the rest.