It's been awhile since I've had the chance to share what has been rattling around in my brain. I've been thinking a lot about teaching and discipleship as it pertains to voices. Let me explain.
The modern education system was built upon the school house idea. There was one teacher for all of the students in and around the local community. The classroom was often filled with students from a wide variety of grades, and the teacher was not only expected to teach to students of different levels, but was also required to teach on every subject matter...and quite frankly to be an expert in every field.
This system had its advantages and disadvantages. My own grandmother experienced education in this setting and benefited from it. What is a tad bit frightening is that this concept for education is still in primary use today in the church realm. The secular educational system moved away from the one teacher knows all model due to external factors like urbanization and increasing class sizes; and although still utilized during the formative years of education in grade school, as people grow and develop they are exposed to different authoritative teaching voices to enhance their learning experience.
So what does this mean for us with regards to discipleship? Simple...do we allow a multiplicity of authoritative voices to speak into the process of spiritual transformation? If the answer is no, perhaps we need to evaluate our motivation for this type of restriction. I know personally I'm often afraid that if I share the leadership responsibility with others I may become expendable. But the bottom line is that the learning experience is enriched as we allow collaboration to be the foundation for growth. I'm not an expert on every subject, but I have something to contribute to the conversation. Will we have the courage to invite other voices into the discipleship process?