More than teaching

I’m convinced that for many Christians listening to another 100 excellent sermons won’t do a bit of good.  They will live as spiritually impoverished tomorrow as they did today.  The reason for this is simple: the good teaching they hear isn’t applied that day, the next, or ever.  They walk away with, “that was a good sermon”, or, “that wasn’t one of his best,” or one of a hundred other statements that don’t end with application.  Application is key, but how do we encourage people to apply what they have learned?

Coaching is better than teaching…in fact we see this in how Jesus discipled His followers and most of the things that have become part of us we learned by coaching.  Jesus not only taught His message, He also lived it, and had His disciples participate in it.  Like Jesus did, much of our teaching needs to be immediately applicable and then put into practice.

In daily life we easily agree that this is true.  In the classroom the math teacher teaches the principle, shows the students step by step examples, and then gives assignments.  Through participation in each phase the student becomes like his teacher in that area of math.  The same discipling happens on basketball courts and football fields and in concert halls everyday.  Yet somehow in the church we think if we just say it enough people will get what we are trying to teach them….but they don’t and they won’t.  Yes they have a personal responsibility to apply the teaching, but we must not fall short on our responsibility to coach!