Mark Scandrette has challenged me recently from my reading of his book Soul Graffiti. Most specifically I have been challenged by his writings on teaching & leadership. He argues the most influential settings for Jesusâ€™ teaching was not telling stories to large crowds (although there is obvious impact there), but with those that committed to follow Him and see how He lived His life. Scandrette says this on page 41:
â€œThe true value of a teacher can be measured by his example.â€
Paul speaks of this in Philippians 4 when he says, â€œWhatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me â€“ put it into practice.â€ I have been attracted to and impacted by the writings and speaking of many teachers. John Eldredge, Louie Giglio, Erwin McManus, & Donald Miller are a few of those people. My life has been altered by their words of wisdom and truth. But their impact on my life is nothing compared to the other â€œteachersâ€ in my life. Teachers like my mom & dad, Keith Fluharty (former Sunday School Teacher & summer boss while in college), Mike Show (Basketball Coach in college), Jim Huckaby (my friend & former boss), Jim King (seminary professor & Consumed Board Member), and more I will not mention here. The difference between the first set of teachers and the second has nothing to do with communication styles or a greater taste for eloquence. The difference? I do not know the first group of men personally and probably never will. I know the second group of teachers intimately, however, by being welcomed into their personal lives. They didnâ€™t just tell me what it meant to follow Jesus; they showed me with their lives. Their classroom was the world, not a room with amazing technological abilities.
All that to say thisâ€¦ there is a time and a place for platform teaching. I do this often. Consumed Ministries main outlets for communicating beyond the twin cities is publishing, radio broadcasts, and podcasts. But my greatest environment for teaching is by welcoming people closer to meâ€¦my world, my messes, my struggles, and my decisions. I wonâ€™t be able to say to people, â€œwhatever you have learned from me â€“ put into practiceâ€ if no one is closest enough to see me.