Pastors, Teach Your People How to Walk with God
As pastors, we have been entrusted with the privilege of teaching people the Bible.
I am committed to God’s inerrant and infallible Word and its final authority for all we believe and practice… period. Every word from a politician or preacher, author or educator, king or a president is secondary. We filter everything through God’s Word.
Therefore, as pastors, it is incumbent upon us to teach people the Word of God. One of the premiere principles we must teach them is how to walk with God personally.
The Need is Obvious
It is more than obvious that we must teach people how to walk with God personally. The world we live in today is a constant challenge. Promises are continually broken. Faithfulness in friendships is rare. Marriages are in crisis. Families are falling apart. Unforgiveness in relationships is normative. Financial crises happen.
People need to know how to navigate through these and other challenges they face not just periodically, but continually.
The need is obvious. We must teach people how to walk with God personally. Here are some ways I suggest we can do this:
1. Teach People the Importance of Reading the Bible
I really believe reading the Scripture daily is the major way people learn to navigate through challenges in their own lives. Scripture provides eternal truths, principles to live by, and stories that inspire.
This is why I think it is absolutely imperative that our people be challenged to read the Scriptures daily. We can challenge them to read a chapter a day, especially at the first of each day. We can challenge them to read through the New Testament in a year. We can challenge them to read through the Bible in a year.
As a pastor, do not under-challenge your people. God will guide them on what to do, but we must share with them the power of reading through the Scriptures. They need to know why it is important and what it will do for their life. Not only should we encourage them to read the Scripture, we should give them a plan.
2. Teach People the Importance of Prayer
People need to be taught how to pray. In fact, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. They asked Him how to pray and he showed them.
We need to teach God’s people how to pray. We need to teach them why prayer is important in their life. We need to teach them how God can use prayer to mold us to the truthfulness of the Scriptures. We need to teach His people how to pray the Scriptures and how to stand on them in times of need.
We need to take time for prayer in worship services. We need to take prayer seriously in these services. We need to plan what to pray about during these times as much as we plan what songs we are going to sing. The lessening of prayer in public worship services and the role of the pastor’s prayer in worship services is one of the reasons our people may not know how to pray. The pastor must pray with clarity and conviction. He needs to inspire God’s people to pray.
3. Teach People to Have Focused Times with God
The most effective way to teach people how to have focused time with God is to lead them to do so corporately with your church. Pastors can lead their church to have a special day, week, or season of prayer focused for a specific purpose.
It takes time for churches to grow in these principles just as it takes time for individuals to grow. Pastors have the privilege to teach their people about the value of specific, focused prayer seasons.
Here at Cross Church, we have done this in all kinds of ways. In fact, we are entering into a 21-day period of prayer and fasting. We will close this focused season by dedicating each of our eleven services on all five campuses to prayer.
People learn by doing what God’s Word teaches. Pastors, we must not only teach them with words, but with our life, and then lead them to experience it with us.
Commit yourself to teaching people how to walk with God. Remember, we teach what we know; we reproduce what we are.