Activating the Spiritual Gift of Teacherby Roger Lehman on September 27, 2018
Activating the Spiritual Gift of Teacher.
It’s exciting to see in these days more and more value placed in the exercise of spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ. For example, in apostolic circles much focus is placed on the activation of the gift of prophesy and the gifts of healing. I personally have greatly benefited from such kind of training back in the 80’s with John Wimber. Since then I regularly see the sick healed. The activation of spiritual gifts really works and it’s not difficult to do.
This past weekend while I was praying and preparing to do some teaching on the Feast of Tabernacles I was somehow drawn to reflect on our training and activating of spiritual gifts at House of Glory. My thoughts were drawn to the gift of teacher. I wondered why I’ve never focused on activating this gift. Over the years many have told me that I have the gift of teacher; but did I properly equipped others in this gift?
The spiritual gift of teacher is much more than a natural talent or learned skill. While I greatly appreciate all the school teachers and college professors who taught me over the years, they were probably not operating in the spiritual gift of teacher. The spiritual gift of teacher does more than intellectual exercise.
Like every spiritual gift the teacher gift has a supernatural dimension to it. The operation of this gift has basically two parts.
First there is the revelatory or illumination part of the gift. As the teacher meditates on scripture that word comes alive. God Himself speaks to the teacher about its application. Parables and illustrations flood the teacher’s mind then He knows that if he talks to his people about what God is saying to him through that passage, lives will be changed.
I’m sure you have from time to time had experiences when a scripture practically jumps off the page at you. It’s as though God Himself is intimately speaking to your heart and encouraging you from that passage. This is the first part of the teacher gift.
The next part is to converse with some friends or family about what God showed you as you meditated on that word and how it changed your life. You interact with them until they experience what you experienced. Boom! You just operated in the spiritual gift of teacher.
Most Christians are conditioned to think that one needs years of Bible School and Seminary training to exercise the gift of teaching. While this training certainly helps one to communicate, it may do little to activate that supernatural revelatory dimension of this gift. Furthermore, this conditioned thinking has greatly limited the number of teachers available in Christian circles today.
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus makes a very clear parallel here between natural food, and spiritual food. Let me also add that there is a clear parallel between a teacher and a cook. Suppose I had a toddler son who said, “Daddy I’m hungry”. I think, “Well I don’t have time to cook dinner”, so I open up a bag of groceries and throw on the table a bag of flour, some oil, yeast, a raw pepper, onion, a raw steak, and some salt and pepper. I say, “Son eat”. That would be ridiculous. It’s all good food, but because a toddler does not know how to prepare food for eating there is no meal here. In the same way handing a new believer a Bible does little to feed him the necessary word that would make him become a strong believer. So the gift of teacher operates through a believer to break down God’s word and make it applicable and spiritually edible.
As I was reflecting on the feast of tabernacles I thought how God wanted His people to remember that their ancestors dwelt in temporary shelters while living in the desert. It was humanly impossible for this nation of more than a million to survive under such extreme conditions; but God supplied food, water and shelter. Though each dwelt in their own family tent (tabernacle) God Himself was their one huge tabernacle over them all.
A key part of celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles is for each family to erect a small temporary structure and live in it for the entire week of celebration. There they rejoice, fellowship and eat together. God is making it clear that eating, surviving and prospering in the wilderness was not only a national thing. It was very much a family thing.
Just as eating our meals is a daily family event let me make it clear, that the teaching and consumption of God’s word works best in an interactive family setting. Such a setting is rarely more than 12 people. Even Jesus had only twelve disciples.
The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated at the end of the harvest season. It’s a harvest feast. Each year they thank God for the harvest that was just experienced, and they pray for next year’s harvest to be a success. We know that a huge harvest of souls is coming to America, but do we know if we are ready?
Besides fields of grain, Jesus used fishing to describe the harvest. The fishermen of those days primarily used large nets to harvest their fish. Nets are made with many very strong strings tied together in a mesh like pattern so that as the net is drawn through the water the fish cannot escape and are captured. As I pictured the fisherman’s net I began to see that where each string intersected the other string to form the mesh pattern there was a teacher.
A harvest net is made up of many teachers working together to insure the new believers are not lost. When the fisherman’s net breaks it’s because there is not enough supernatural, Spirit led teaching going on. When there are not enough teachers operating in a fellowship the mesh is too large and the fish are slipping through. Those souls leave and go back to the world because of the lack of revelatory and applicable teaching. Is a Sunday morning sermon enough for most believers to prosper in the Lord? I think not.
I know that these are the days when we must activate all the spiritual gifts in the body in preparation for the harvest, but we must especially activate the teaching gift. One teacher in a fellowship of 50 is not enough. Don’t all adults know how to cook at least a little? Can’t we all stir up the gift of teaching within us? I think so.
As I reflected on the above I decided to do less teaching and do more of the work of equipping teachers. So, this past Sunday in remembrance of the feast of tabernacles I sat down in our living room with our people, prayed for the spirit of revelation and the gift of teaching to come upon us all. Then I simply had them read scripture and I asked questions about that scripture. Soon everyone was getting revelation and application by the Holy Spirit as we interacted over the scripture we read. Gifts of teaching were being activated. It was a wonderful move of the Spirit. I think I’m going to do that more.