● What is meant by the expression “qualified to teach” as a qualification for elders?
Teaching is done in a number of ways. Some are skilled speakers, able to teach from the platform. Others stand out for their ability to exhort and counsel individually or with family groups. In either case, the elder must have a good knowledge of the Scriptures, “holding firmly to the faithful word as respects his art of teaching, that he may be able both to exhort by the teaching that is healthful and to reprove those who contradict.” This means being able to explain prophecy, teach sound doctrine and point out what the Bible says about morality and living according to Bible principles.—1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9.
Overseers also teach by example. Jesus set the example for overseers during his earthly ministry. As he made disciples, he took them with him, showing them how the teaching work is done. (Matt. 9:35-38) After teaching them how to teach, he put them on their own to go and preach the Kingdom message in many places. (Matt. 10:7, 11-14) So it is a part of the teaching work of overseers to go into the field with members of the congregation and teach them how the work is done. New ones need to learn how to use the Bible from house to house and the teaching methods employed on return visits and in home Bible studies. This takes time.—See also Acts 20:20, 27, 35; 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Peter 5:3.
The practical overseer sees his opportunities to teach while in field service. Perhaps while walking between houses with a publisher there will be moments for conversation when questions can be answered or problems solved. Pointers can be given on how to improve in presenting the good news. The overseer has much teaching to do.—2 Tim. 2:2.