Teaching the Word of God is a powerful responsibility. It is incumbent upon those called to this task to take seriously Paul's exhortation to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:15: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."The astute listener can discern when a pastor-teacher has put in the hard work of Bible observation, interpretation, and application. In recent weeks, I have had the pleasure of listening to Pastor Andy Jobe of Riverview Baptist Church in Bixby, OK continue his excellent series through the Gospel of Luke. His sermons display both biblical depth and authentic humility, both of which are characteristics needed in the man of God.
Churches would be served greatly if more pastors took 2 Tim. 2:15 seriously. Those who don't tend to rely on gimmicks and crowd manipulation, wrongly equating a peer-pressure response to the inner working of God's Spirit. When untrained and ill-equipped "shepherds" try to feed the flock, everyone begins to starve. It's not easy to preach through the Song of Solomon on Sunday mornings -- to address God's people after the terrorist attacks of 9-11 -- to preach a sermon on abortion that properly balances truth and grace -- or to teach how Rom. 11:32 summarizes the entire structure of the theological/historical section of the Book of Romans and explain why that should matter to anyone who came to church just because their marriage is falling apart. But this is the task of the true pastor-teacher: to fulfill 2 Tim. 2:15.