by Tyler Quillet
In my years as a pastor, my co-worker and dear friend, Nate, would always give me one last bit of encouragement before I spoke or taught God’s word. Whether it be a sermon, a funeral, a class, or any other speaking opportunity, he’d end our time by saying, “Give ‘em Jesus!” It was like breaking the huddle in football, in a way, with that final encouragement and reminder to go and do exactly what we’ve been called to do.
Unfortunately, we all need that reminder. It’s unfortunate because we often forget to give ‘em Jesus. As those who teach God’s word, lead small groups, and disciple other believers, we can often get in God’s way, making our talk or discussion more about ourselves, our ideas, or our agenda. It’s oftentimes not on purpose, but it is a regular habit that we fail to simply give them God’s truth because we have so much stuff we want them to hear.
Here are a few ways that we can better “Give ‘em Jesus” when we are leading, teaching, or simply having a Gospel conversation instead of leading with or supporting truth with our opinions or agendas.
- Lead with scriptural truth.
Be sure that your focus is on God’s word and not just what you think about what God’s word is trying to say. Make God’s word the foundation of everything you teach.
- Back up scripture with more scripture.
As you unpack God’s word, be sure to do so by supporting the main text with more scripture. It’s easy to allow yourself to trail off with opinions instead of focusing on the word itself.
- Don’t use personal illustrations that prop you up or make you look good.
When you need to tell a story to help teach the text, use one that props someone else up, but always make sure that it supports the text and brings them back to the truth you just read in scripture. Don’t let any illustrations take away from the scripture.
- Magnify Jesus at every opportunity.
This is a given, but always keep this at the forefront of your mind as you teach. You are God’s mouthpiece, whatever context it is that you are teaching in. Make much of Jesus and take every opportunity you have to point your audience or group to Him.
As a group leader or discipler, it is easy for those you are leading to rely too heavily on you. Making your time in the word with these people about you will eventually lead them to believe that it’s you that gives them truth, you that brings them comfort, you that has the answers, and you that they go to for help. Your job as a leader, as a teacher, and as a discipler is to point them to Jesus at every opportunity.
Going back to the beginning, it’s easy for us to get in the way. It’s easy to make much of ourselves. It’s easy to push our opinions or agendas, sometimes without even thinking about it. So, we all need the simple reminder each and every time we have an opportunity to share God’s word with others: “Give ‘em Jesus!”
Tyler Quillet is the Discipleship Strategist for the Custom Bible Study team at LifeWay Christian Resources. He lives in the Nashville, TN area with his incredible wife, Cathie, and two boys, Cylas and Bowen. Tyler also speaks, writes, and coaches alongside Cathie as they pour into and love on the infertile community through Cathie’s “The Missing Peace Project”. Tyler previously spent 15 years as a pastor and is passionate about serving churches and pouring into church leaders in a variety of ways.