Leaders communicate. Ideally, they communicate actively and clearly, but they communicate something even with their mouths shut. People look to their leaders for vision and direction, and leaders better have something to say.
The best leaders communicate clearly and passionately. Like Winston Churchill, a leader’s words can lift people to something greater than they previously thought possible. Or, people can be left grasping for something or someone to give them direction.
In the church, elders are called to articulate and proclaim the Word of God. And in so doing, they call their people to believe, embody and obey the lofty and heavenly thoughts of God himself.
The ability to teach Scripture should not be unique to elders, but it is a unique requirement for elders. A man of stellar character can be disqualified by an inability to teach.
The elder should not only be able to teach clearly the doctrines of the faith, but defend the church against false teaching (Titus 1:9). When pastors “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), they must be able to articulate and refute, to contend and defend.
As an elder, your teaching never stops. The ability to teach is not exclusively exercised from the pulpit; there are countless ways to teach your people both formally and informally. Even when your mouth is shut, people receive instruction from how you conduct yourself.
What matters is that you’re ready to articulate and defend the faith in season and out of season.