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The Expositors Collective

What Does It Mean To Be “Able To Teach?” with David Mathis

By November 1, 2022December 2nd, 2022No Comments

The one notable distinction between Elder and Deacon virtues listened in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 is a single Greek word didaktikos, which has been translated as “Able to teach” “apt to teach”“skilful in teaching” in various English translations. What exactly does that mean? Mike Neglia speaks with David Mathis about this specific Elder qualification and the difference between reluctant occasional teaching and enthusiastic joyful habitual teaching.

Paul also says, as his culminating qualification in the Titus 1 list, the pastor-elder “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). That is, he must know “the trustworthy word,” and be trained in it, and genuinely “hold firm” to it. But then commences the work of teaching in its twofold sense: feeding the flock (“give instruction in sound doctrine”) and defending the flock (“rebuke those who contradict it”). And if the pastors are poor or ineffective teachers, the sheep go hungry or get eaten. – from

David Mathis serves as senior teacher and executive editor at, a pastor at Cities Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and an adjunct professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis. He and his wife, Megan, have four children. He is the author of several books, including Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines.

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