“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach…”
One of my favorite movies as a kid was a Rock Hudson comedy called Man’s Favorite Sport?.
Hudson plays a guy who wrote a best-selling book on fishing. A hard-charging department store marketing executive decides it would be great to get him in a fishing tournament. His boss agrees.
He has never fished in his life.
There certainly are a lot of “experts” who bank on their ability to make people think they know more than they do. And there are certainly a lot of consultants at home in their Consultants’ Bubbles, grabbing fees, holding seminars, and writing books—who either never knew or have forgotten what it’s like to actually work in their fields of expertise.
The Bible mentions a couple of guys who don’t fit into this mold.
Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers. —Exodus 35:30-35
Bezalel. “Specifically chosen” by God for the work at hand. “Master craftsman…expert…skilled…master at every craft.”
God gave him and Oholiab “the ability to teach their skills to others.”
In God’s Kingdom, there is no substitute for those who can and who teach.
We are never more than one generation away from ruin. From forgetting God. It is our responsibility both to do and to teach. To act and to impart.
The simple fact is, whether you’re talking about leading someone to Christ or taking them on a mission trip or assigning them to greet guests at the front door of your church—you cannot just tell them what to do (or worse, deposit them in their spot with no instructions). You must show them how it’s done. And in order to do that you must have experience doing it yourself.
A leader isn’t someone who simply tells people what to do. He’s someone who’s first doing something and then recruits others to join him in what he’s already doing. And in joining him and serving with him, they learn how to do what God’s called them to do.
The effective leader…
…knows who he is and where he is going, and—by the example of his life and the power of his words—brings others with him.
He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. —Mark 3:14
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. —2 Timothy 2:2
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
Think about it…
To what ministry has God called and gifted you? How do you feel about teaching someone else how to do that?
Is there a ministry you see someone else doing that you’d like to learn to do as well?
What are you going to do?