How can the church grow in depth and breadth?

Do we have to choose between depth or breadth?

In this video, learn how the “Teach to know, share to grow” principle from 2 Timothy 2:2 helps us go both deep and wide.

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Hi Carson,

Thanks for sharing the “Teach to know, share to grow principle”. I think this is what many churches are trying to follow through small groups. Small group leaders are those whom the pastors often rely on to strengthen the message taught on a sunday morning and build community. The problems sometimes are that there are not enough small group leaders, not enough leader training, not enough preparation before teaching, more time commitment than can be afforded, or too much reliance of the congregation on pastors.

I think a community like this helps us learn/share/teach one principle at a time without having to take on more commitment due to constraints on availability, training etc. Here we get to carefully evaluate bite-size teachings on a flexible schedule, slowly add to our spiritual growth, and pass it on in our local context. Thank you for creating this space for growth!

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Hello Carson,

So, I listened to your video about a week ago and I love your “Teach to Know, Share to Grow” concept. When I taught a 5th-6th grade Sunday School class about 20 years ago, I learned so much. Preparing lessons for the kids helped motivate me to dig into the Bible more myself. That was really the first time I took on the project of trying to see the forest for the trees. Prior to that, I felt like I knew a lot of individual characters, stories, phrases, verses - but not how they were connected to an overall story. And it took time, work, notes, discussions, research, etc. Not that I’ve come anywhere close to understanding it all, but without a doubt, I grew exponentially. I had to invest something to get something out of it. I’ve always understood and appreciated that concept. As you said, it was a transition from being passive to becoming active.

I appreciated your identifying with the scariness of the “share to grow” principle. Fear of looking unintelligent and fear of rejection are hurdles for me. I recognize that pride is mixed in with these fears and then I feel ashamed of my pride that feeds the fears! God is helping me continually learn that His love for me is not conditional upon my performance in this or any other area of my walk with Him.

I guess one last thing that’s been on my heart with this is the feeling that I don’t have time to teach or to share in new ways. Life feels too full and complicated already. However, I also believe that I have always found a way to get to the things I really want to, so does that mean I don’t want this type of growth bad enough to make time for it? That’s just an honest and hard question that I’m wrestling with.


Hey Christie! (@christine2 :slight_smile:)

Here are some possible interpretations:

  1. You’re already learning and sharing new things daily. You only need space to recognize what you are taking in and passing on.

  2. It’s a season with extra demands on your time and energy - or temporarily reduced capacity on your part - so it’s normal not to be learning as much as in other seasons. Instead of blaming yourself, lean into the opportunity to recover or to serve, depending on where you find yourself.

  3. Yes, you don’t want this type of growth badly enough to make time for it! :slight_smile: The last thing I want to contribute to anyone’s life is guilt or shame. And we could all learn more and share more. But at some point, it’s reasonable to examine our hearts and assess our motivations.

Perhaps the discernment questions are:

What do I lose by not learning more about X in this season of life?

Or, what do I gain if I learn more about X in this season of life?

Then, in the presence of a God who already loves you, see if the answers to those questions clarify if there’s another commitment that should go lower on your priorities. Or perhaps not!

I think this is unlikely to be a question of righteousness but more about navigating life with wisdom.

Those are some initial, tentative thoughts. I’m curious to hear what you and others have to share.

I found your possible interpretations and discernment questions very helpful! So much so, that I printed them off and am keeping them near my Bible. Not just for navigating this specific topic, but I think they are good questions that can be adapted to other areas and decision-making points in life. I am continuing to work through them. Thank you, Carson!


Hi @christine2, that’s encouraging to hear. I look forward to learning from you as you keep processing what God is showing you.