****The memory of my junior secondary school is laced with all manner of books , which I will not bother to mention for the danger of their content and curiosity that kills the cats called humans, more so thats not the purpose of this note. I had a little journey through the empire of knowledge most of which were evil…I walked through the allies of religions, resting at the crescent of science. I made my U-turn at the cul-de-sac of metaphysics as I sought for direction from the signposts of biographies…which led me to the restless apartment of astrology where numbers were faithful servants…and when I finally reached the gates of Christianity…I KNEW I FOUND HIM WHOM MY HEART SOUGHT.
In one particular book I found in our pantry…quite tattered but its content made a lifetime impact. I remember chapter 2…it was a book on philosophy. I had to look for this law again for I almost forgot certain important elements in its definition… Here is what the author began the chapter with
OCKHAM’S LAW: this is a philosophical and scientific law that states that simple explanations should be preferred to mere complicated ones and that the explanation of new phenomenon should be based on what is already known
Yes, it is scientific law but years after I SAW ITS PARALLEL IN THE BIBLE. It changed my ministry****
About 12 years ago, a church had invited me for their 2 days leaders retreat as the main minister. What the theme of the retreat was I can’t remember but what happened there I will never forget.
My message focus was the THE SECOND DEATH, THE SECOND BIRTH, THE SECOND RESSURECTION OF CHRIST AND ITS RESULTANT EFFECT ON THE NEW MAN…I taught for two hours thereabout…When I was done, the Pastor said to the NOW confused congregation ” If you have any question please raise your hands as Pastor Muyiwa will give answers to them?”
Every hand in that auditorium went up maybe except for a few folks. What was sad and that any teacher should be ashamed of was my attitude to their questions. I answered them but I felt disappointed that they were “NOT DEEP” lol. Whatever that even means really. I was condescending in my answers. The very attitude I see now on Facebook with younger teachers. When I see that attitude now online…I just laugh and say to myself ” SEE THIS LATE COMER ON BAD ATTITUDE “
I returned to my base after my sessions, went into worship and thanking God for utterance and “DEPTH OF REVELATION” …when the voice of God rang out clearly in my heart. A scripture jumped into my heart and I couldn’t shake it off. So I had to go there.
Nehemiah 8:8 NIV translation
They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
See it God’s Word translation
Neh 8:8 They read the Book of God’s Teachings clearly and explained the meaning so that the people could understand what was read.
God began to tell me there and then that YES ALL I SAID WAS TRUE, but no one in that meeting was EDIFIED. I got in the way of the message. My youthfulness, my desire to prove a point and my lack of patience got in the way. They left with more questions than they came.
In those days I will move from scripture to scripture to scripture without waiting for you to write it down or open it. We will have 2 hours teachings and other than the anchor or foundation scripture…every other thing will be quoted. HE TOLD ME THAT THE BIBLE WAS FOR EXPLANATION IN TEACHING MEETINGS NOT JUST FOR QUOTATION..
From Nehemiah 8:8 by the help of God, I came into certain guidelines that help me now in teaching…MAYBE IT WILL HELP YOU TOO SIR AND MA
1) THEY READ THE BOOK OF GOD’S TEACHINGS…
I make it a point of duty when I teach that while it is very beautiful to quote scriptures, I make sure we read them together. There is no hurry. We are not competing in teaching syllabus with any other church. You will be surprised that by doing so you encourage your folks to read their bible more especially the new converts and babes in Christ.
THERE IS A STRONG LINK BETWEEN READING AND UNDERSTANDING LIKE Apostle Paul shows us here
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. IN READING THIS THEN, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND MY INSIGHT into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
This is such a big word to mean now…CLARITY. Sometimes you need to choose between being called a veeeeerrrrryyyyyy deeeeeeeeep teacher that is confusing or a clear teacher of Gods word that is considered simplistic. I went to another church about that same 12 years ago and the members of that particular church came to ask folks from the fellowship I was privileged to Pastor along then ” HOW DO YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND PASTOR MUYIWA SEF, HE IS SO DEEP” well I don’t think that was depth…it was more of HE IS SO CONFUSING. At the RISK of being called SHALLOW now. I choose to be CLEAR. I choose to be simple. Some of the desire for DEEP reputation as a teacher is nothing but carnality. If you must hammer on the same point…use other scriptures…if there is an analogy that may be close well attuned…USE IT. STRIVE MORE TO BE CLEAR.
3) EXPLAINED THE MEANING…
There is a difference between SCRIPTURAL INTERPRETATION AND SCRIPTURAL EXPLANATION. One day, should THE Lord permit…I will write on SCRIPTURAL INTERPRETATION. There is actually a strong link between the two. Your effectiveness in explanation of Gods word has a link to Interpreting Gods word actually.
Please DONT JUST GLOSS OVER SCRIPTURES while you teach…Explain the meaning. Certain tools will help you a bit. A GOOD CONCORDANCE…AN UNDERSTANDING OF GREEK AND HEBREW…Most importantly an understanding of the Epistles. Epistles are like keys to unlocking the Bible. You may want to pay more attention there too. Don’t be ashamed to ask someone if a text is not clear. GOD DID NOT CALL YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE SOUND…THE CALL OF GOD PREDATED YOUR BIRTH…BUT YOU HAVE TO BE SOUND TO FULFILL YOUR ASSIGNMENT WELL AS A TEACHER. THIS MAY REQUIRE THAT YOU ASK QUESTIONS.
Don’t make the simple complicated…endeavor to make the complicated simple.
4) PEOPLE COULD UNDERSTAND
Notice the word “PEOPLE” NOT YOU. When you go out to teach…focus less on yourself. How do I sound…am I sounding exposed enough, am I sounding studious enough…you are NOT the focus. when you see someone looking lost. Don’t just leave them. Carry them in your heart. Have compassion. We usually think only the hearer need MEEKNESS. teacher are quick to tell their followers that they must be meek to receive Gods word. Yes there is meekness is learning. Only the meek can learn…unlearn and relearn.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
BUT THERE IS MEEKNESS ON THE PART OF THE TEACHER TOO.
2 Timothy 2:24-25
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, IN MEEKNESS INSTRUCTING those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY NOTE OF TRUE ELEGANCE IN TEACHING SIR AND MA.
Like Ockham’s law states…there are things in the experience of the people you are teaching that you can leverage on to drive home the WORD. Jesus used this method a lot. Paul used this method too. Don’t water down the word to the experience of your hearers but there are things in the experience of your hearers that can make them understand the word better.
Paul used water baptism to teach baptism into Christ…he used head covering which is a Corinthian culture to teach honor and submission to them…he used sabbath to explain the rest we have by faith in Christ…he used the communion table to explain Christ is our Passover.
Always ask yourself…CAN IT BE BETTER PUT SO IT CAN BE BETTER UNDERSTOOD.
I hope this helps a bit Sir and Ma.
Welcome to Freedom.