Back To School?! (By Gene Dahmes)

Back to School?!

Are leaders born, or made? A great need in local churches is the development of leaders. The present leadership is always looking for ways to develop new leaders. How is this to be done? The Bible shows an effective method that may not be popular in our day: formal training. Does this mean we have to go back to school? Let’s take a look.

What about Jesus and the Disciples? Jesus was considered a Rabbi. An established method of formal training by rabbis was to take your students with you as you walk about and teach them. We see Jesus did this with the disciples (Matthew 4:19-22) for three years. The very word used in the Greek New Testament for a disciple means to be a learner. The disciples did have formal training. They were called “learners” and Jesus was called their “Teacher.”

The Apostle Peter wrote that the writings of the Apostle Paul are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16). He was not recommending that we not try. Rather, the implication is they can be understood. It will take some effort, maybe even some training. 

The writer to the Hebrew believers was disappointed his readers had not grown more in their faith. He remarked they had need of someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God (Hebrews 5:12). Did you catch that? He said, again. Apparently, there had been some formal training. For some reason they needed more training; they weren’t growing in the faith like they should have.

An Elder is a leader in the church. He is expected to hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:9). That is a high expectation. An elder would not be able to do any of this without formal training. Sure, there would be teaching from the pulpit, but for this to be true of these leaders, formal training would be needed.

The early church needed leaders who would understand sound doctrine. They provided formal training for the people in their churches so some could develop into leaders (in the early church it was called a catechism). We have the same need today, and we also are presenting opportunities for believers to be trained to understand the teachings of our God in His Word.

Perhaps you would like to step forward into some ministry in your church. Maybe you have sensed the Lord moving you into some new role. But the thought of taking on leadership is daunting! You may think this could not be for you. In the early church we see leaders developed by being trained. The Knowing God study group exists to help you grow in your faith; to develop Christian maturity; to help you gain confidence in handling the teachings of Scripture. Come and get to know your God better, and His Word. Then, let’s see what the Lord desires to do with your life!

The Knowing God study group will meet this Wednesday, October 30 at 6:45pm. There after we meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evening of the month (excluding Thanksgiving). Currently we are studying what the Bible teaches about humanity, and sin. Talk with Gene Dahmes if you have questions, or interest.


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