“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.’ ” Mark 16:15-16
When I was a boy, maybe eleven or twelve years of age, I found a introductory book for learning the Spanish language in our house.
“This is cool,” I said to my self. And I decided that I was going to learn Spanish.
And so began my first attempt at learning a second language. There have been two or three additional tries at learning Spanish. One was a college language course and the last two were attempts using the Rosetta Stone curriculum.
All of that work and I still don’t speak Spanish.
I assign most of the reason for my failure to learn on the fact that I almost never have anyone to practice Spanish with. And for most people the key to learning to speak a language is lots of opportunities to practice speaking it.
Quite honestly, I think that’s the key to learning anything new. Lots of opportunities to use it.
We practice reading and math skills for years in order to master them. Whenever there’s a new task we’re slow at first but after a while we can almost do it with our eyes closed all because we’ve done it so many times.
Perhaps that’s what’s lacking for so many Christians, when it comes to their growth in their understanding of the teachings of Jesus. They’ve spent a lot of time listening to teachers and preachers explain, and put their beliefs into words but they’ve spent very little time sharing what they believe with others. As a result they continue to be immature regarding the depth of their own belief and stunted in their ability to share it with others.
Jesus disciples weren’t very experienced when it came to preaching and teaching. In some ways they were still immature when it came to the depth of their own understanding of Jesus and his kingdom. Only weeks before they’d gone through a spiritual crises largely because they hadn’t been listening to Jesus very well. Yet Jesus still commanded them to start preaching the gospel to the world.
Jesus knew that in order for understanding to grow those beliefs had to be used. On top of that the world needed to know that the price had been paid so that they could be saved from their sin. So he supplied both needs by sending his students out to be his first cohort of teachers.
Many churches today are crying out for God to supply their needs when if they’d just look in the mirror they’d see one of the people God has already sent to get the job done.