It is kind of funny to look at the different ways we try to fabricate what it means to teach with authority.
In some churches they put the pulpit up high, other churches have huge pulpits, others have elaborate clothing or liturgy and others take their authority through imagery of rebellion by wearing jeans or overalls. Basically anything that is different, on the edge, makes one stand out.
Then there are others who have perfected humour or storytelling or using props like video clips and Powerpoint. Still others like to pound their pulpit to bring home a point.
But nothing rivals the – “God told me to tell you” or “God has gifted me with the gift of …” so listen to what I have to say, I am special, called of God…
If I have learned anything in the past 9 months of leading some 15 youth in an Arabic church, it is the fact that they love authenticity. Over and over again they tell of another church that has awesome worship services and retreats, yet they come back on Friday nights to hear what God is doing and can do. They are amazed that God did something this morning or how the days devotions were used to share a truth with someone struggling or even some stories that happened in the lives of our leaders – experiencing God, when they were their age, as a God that mattered because I mattered to Him.
I remembered that when Peter and John were taken to the temple courts and responded to the accusation of the priests, their responses and demeanour reflected that “they had been with Jesus.” He was the one who taught with authority because He spent time with His Father.
If we want to teach with authority – it does not come with a Master’s or Doctor’s degree – that is teaching with confidence. I comes by spending time with Jesus. Experience that He never lies, always keeps His promises, never leaves us, constantly calls us to engage and bring others to knowledge of who He is by us allowing Him to be active in our own lives and thereby calling us to walk with Him every single day.
Authority does not happen unless we are walking with God. Walk with God – teach with authority.