Here’s the point: If the church is ever going to grow, training must occur and roles must be established. When Paul told Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” he expected Timothy to commit himself to training the church. Again, if people need training then, surely we need it now.
If you have received training and are now capable of training others, are you involved in training others? If not, why not? The words of Hosea 4:6 should serve as a strong reminder of the need for training and the responsibility to provide it if one is capable: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If training does not occur, congregations will suffer (or continue to suffer in many cases).
In Titus 2:1-8 Paul commands Titus to make sure the older are teaching the younger. The older men were to teach the younger men and the older women the younger women. How often do we actually see such a pattern of teaching taking place in our local congregations? The pattern of training Paul gave to Titus was to be the norm and constant in the church. Should we be surprised if there is a lack of growth within the body when the pattern of training is abandoned?
Though there are always exceptions to general rules, it seems few young Christians are seeking the wisdom and training of the elderly. Either young Christians are being taught to seek the training of other young Christians, or they are being taught to leave the work of the church to the older members and remain uninvolved in training. Neither situation is acceptable or the will of God. As a result, years pass by, and eventually members who should be taking on a training role find themselves unable to train and too embarrassed or oblivious to seek training.
It’s time to right the ship and stop the bleeding. The responsibility of changing the status quo rests on you the reader. If you are a young person, seek out older brethren at church and their training. If you are an older brother or sister and are capable of training others, seek/create opportunities to train the younger in your congregations.
According to Titus 2:1-8, there needs to be emphasis placed on training young men in doctrine and speech. Paul’s instructions do not prohibit young ladies from training in areas of doctrine and speech, but rather place greater importance on them in the life of the young man because of his public role in evangelism (1 Timothy 2:8). In the case of young ladies, Paul places the stress on the extremely important roles of child training and home keeping. Again, Paul’s instructions to young ladies do not prohibit young men from learning of these matters as well, but rather place greater responsibility on young ladies in these areas. Though society does not approve of Paul’s instructions and distinctions between roles, the church must trust and heed them in order to grow and b pleasing to God.
The bottom line comes down to this:
Young men: Are you seeking spiritual training in speech and doctrine from older brethren in the church?
Young women: Are you seeking training and instruction from older women in the church in areas of child rearing and home keeping?
Older Brothers and Sisters: Are you seeking and creating opportunities to provide training and instruction for young people and couples in the church? Are you cultivating relationships with young people that will provide opportunities to lend instruction?
Young Parents: Are you making your children available to leaders in the church for training and instruction in righteousness, or are you trying to go at it all-alone?
There is an old saying that states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In the same sense, it takes a church to raise a Christian. May God bless the church and may each member recognize and fill their role.