Lewis McClendon BCMN
The ability to preach or teach is part of the qualifications of being a pastor.
I Timothy 3:1-2
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
As preachers of the Word of God, we recognize that we must be able to understand and clearly communicate the truths in the Bible. Preachers never stop working on this ability or skill. The Greek word used for apt is didaktikon, which means skilled in teaching. In Ephesians 4 God said He gave His church pastors who were to perfect the saints. How do pastors perfect the saints? Saints are perfected by pastors who understand the Word and can clearly communicate the Word to the people in his church.
Spurgeon said, “Whatever you may know, you cannot be truly efficient ministers if you are not ‘apt to teach.’ You know ministers who have mistaken their calling, and evidently have no gifts for it; make sure that none think the same of you. There are brethren in the ministry whose speech is intolerable: either they rouse you to wrath, or else they send you to sleep. No sleeping aid can ever equal some discourses in sleep-giving properties; no human being, unless gifted with infinite patience, could long endure to listen to them, and nature does well to give the victim deliverance through sleep. I heard one say the other day that a certain preacher had no more gifts for the ministry than an oyster, and in my own judgment, this was a slander on the oyster, for that worthy oyster shows great discretion in his openings, and knows when to close. If some men were sentenced to hear their own sermons, it would be a righteous judgement upon them, and they would soon cry out with Cain, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear.’ Let us not fall under the same condemnation.”
We can understand the Word by taking the time to study the Word. In the same way, we can clearly communicate the Word by improving our teaching skills. Studies show that improving our preaching and teaching skills is needed. Ken Davis, in his Dynamic Communicators Workshop, uses the following survey to demonstrate the need for improving our preaching and teaching skills. “In a survey involving 2,500 people at multiple churches, less than 15 minutes after a sermon, 72% of the people had no idea what was communicated. In the same survey, 50% of the speakers could not articulate, in a simple sentence, the objective of their sermon.”
Pastors can improve their preaching and teaching skills. No pastor wants to put people to sleep. No pastor wants people to leave with no idea about what he was communicating. Every pastor wants his preaching and teaching to perfect the people in his church. That means pastors must spend time studying the scripture until he understands it and then spend time on how he will clearly teach or preach the passage to his people.