Article by Teresa Chang
Our church’s Bible studies are why many newcomers choose to attend our church. Many of our church leaders are skilled Bible teachers, passionate for the Word of God. Even the leaders over our children’s ministry are phenomenal Bible teachers. Many in our area come to check out our church so that they and their families can grow in a strong foundation of the Word.
The teacher’s powerful love for God’s Word can spread through your entire church. As you build a culture around this love for the Word, God’s truth will become a firm, established part of your congregation.
Remember, culture is the shared values, priorities and practices, along with the traditions, symbols and expressions that unite a community. Your culture reflects who your church is at a deep level. What does your church value more than anything? What drives you as a congregation? As a body, what things have you proven you care about again and again? As you clarify your values, you establish your priorities—things that are more or less important for how you spend your time, energy and resources. Out of your priorities emerge your everyday practices (things you naturally do on a day-to-day basis). Each of these individual “steps” works to establish in your church a culture that loves God’s Word.
Here are a few other things to consider as you build your church culture:
1. As a church leader, personify the culture yourself.
Make the love and study of Scripture a priority. Incorporate love for the Word in your own life. Consider the following questions:
- How has the Word impacted you?
- How has it impacted your family and friends?
- Does your family study the Word together on a regular basis?
- Do you as a leader actively seek to connect with God through His Word?
As God’s Word becomes more real to you and you share your love for it with those you are leading, it will become more real to them as well.
2. Infuse love for the Word into your primary team.
Live in a culture that honors Scripture. What are the values that undergird your belief that God is true? What are the values that illustrate integrity, consistency and intelligence in the Kingdom of God? How could you reveal your love for the Word on a daily basis? All of these factors have value, and you can promote them to strengthen a culture that upholds God’s Word.
Realize the role of intellect and reason in the biblical process. Part of the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38) is loving God with all our minds. The enlightened mind is not in opposition to the Holy Spirit, for the Bible says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We need to realize that when God says, “Come, let us reason together,” He is talking about a mental process. It is unwise to depend solely on revelation or a vision—we also need to depend on what the Bible says as revealed through the gifted teacher.
3. Bring love for the Word to your congregation.
Begin to instill in your congregation a culture that loves God’s Word and revels in it through personal interaction, public preaching, testimonies and ongoing celebration of cultural successes.
Teachers are anointed to impart love of the Word. This often occurs through public teaching in classrooms and large group settings. However, a teacher’s most basic work is to communicate truth to individual members of the Body of Christ. That is the foundation of the teacher gift, and we call it discipleship.