The Gift of Teaching
It is no small undertaking to address the church body in the form of teaching or public speaking. 1 Corinthians 14:26 describes a church gathering when it states, “when you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” The context to the Biblical concept of open, participatory gatherings is the phrase, “let all things be done for building up.” We must take every sentence, every word before the Lord to ensure that what we address the church body with is purely out of a motive of building up.
How can one be so sure what will build up the body and what won’t? One way is discernment through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10,14). In addition to this, we must know the body. To know the flock, one doesn’t need to be a shepherd per se, but they must at least have a shepherd's heart and know the sheep (John 10:14).
This is why at Sandbox Church when someone wants to address the body, they are to discuss it with the church Elders. The Elders ultimately hold the responsibility for what gets spoken over their flock (Heb 13:17, Acts 20:28). And it is the Elders’ ultimate responsibility to protect the body against false teaching (Acts 20:29-31). This goes along with what James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Before the elders allow someone to be in a speaking role at Sandbox, we do our best to evaluate their life and their service within our body. Speaking gifts do not qualify someone to speak before the body. We are moved by people who have shown a history of caring and serving within our body. Similarly, like in an office of deacon or elder, if someone wants to serve in teaching, let them prove themselves first.
Note: this specifically refers to those speaking outside of a Sunday sermon or helping lead life group discussion, as everything in that context has already been vetted by or created by the elders. Refer to the Life Groups page or the information on Biblical elders on the Oversight & Accountability page for more information.