And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,
For those of us who serve Christ and the church as teaching pastors, those words are taken seriously.
We know that the teaching of the Bible leads to spiritual growth and changed lives to the hearers and responders. We know that God's Word is profitable and that it's ability to mold us is like a sharp, two-edged sword. We know that the church can only be the church when it feeds on "sound doctrine (teaching)".
So we prepare. Some of us have spent many years at no small financial expense learning the crafts of exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical languages and homiletics. We work to the point of exhaustion, digging, praying for the right words and struggling at the same time with our own spiritual needs.
So we hope that the church will benefit from our ministry. We know that God's Word never returns void to Him - it always produces results when it is heard and applied. But when we work for Christ to shepherd and feed His flock and they are not there to hear from God's Word it is frustrating.
Even more is when the lessons taught that have gone unheard due to absence or unheeded due to insolence or apathy could have made a difference in a life struggling for answers. The answers were given.
Why weren't you there to get them?
But then, I remember I'll be judged for my teaching. That's between me and Jesus.
I won't be judged for your hearing. That's between you and Jesus.
And lest you think I'm riding some high horse, I didn't ask for this gift.