All believers are royal priests of God with a personal ministry to share the gospel with people in their lives. But not all believers are cut out to be teachers and pastors. Why not? “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).
Judged in which ways? The first and most important is that public ministers of the gospel must know the Word backward and forward. They must be masters of its content. Second, they need to have the gift of communication. You not only have to know it; you need to be able to break it down for people in terms that they can understand.
Ezra the priest was one of God’s agents to get the worship life of the returned exiles functioning in a better way. He organized a huge Feast of Tabernacles, as Moses had commanded. Just as important as the ritual was the teaching that went with it: “The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 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”(Nehemiah 8:7,8).
Congregation members, insist that your pastors and teachers do this for you. Pray for them, encourage them, and hold them accountable so that their proclamation is clear and understandable.