Each One Teach One – April 4, 2012Home > news & events > Each One Teach One – April 4, 2012
Not once, not twice, but three times Jesus commanded Peter to “feed my sheep.” Whenever I read this scripture passage I think of the phrase I have heard so much growing up in the Black community, “Each one teach one.” It can be easy to understand why a people who were routinely taught that the total sum of their history was slavery or who consistently struggle to get an education of any significant quality might taken
upon themselves to provide education for their communities. We don’t teach others because we fear what they will do if we fail in passing on information for healthy survival; we teach them because we love them. Part of what Jesus is accomplishing when he identifies himself with the poor, is revealing to us what we can only find through our personal experience, that whenever “we” think “we” are teaching “them” about Jesus, math or whatever, in the actually act what we will find is that “they” are the Jesus that teaches us.
Sometimes, it can be hard to see the necessity to take up the mantle of teaching if we live in communities with good schools and resources. However, even the best schools struggle to teach morality and ethics, and there is only one school in the universe that can teach all the lessons you have learned from your life, and that’s you. If you’re like me, the term evangelism is associated with the act of “Bible thumping” for the purpose of conversion. The belief in the freedom for each individual to choose how they engage, or choose not to engage, with the Divine sometimes inhibits us from sharing our beliefs. This is not necessarily a bad thing—what this hesitancy does is it gives us the opportunity to discern and examine which of our beliefs are connected to an actual experience. Just as we would not want to teach a mathematical solution that has never tried and that we are not sure is correct, we should not want to share a belief that we’ve never put into practice. What’s more, the beliefs that we stand by and claim should be the beliefs that have actually fed our souls and our sense of love and justice for one another. Each one teach one is about teaching one another to love, not to hate.
Lastly, when we have trouble thinking of others as sheep, remember that we are all at some point in our lives like sheep: we all are vulnerable to attack; we all are vulnerable to exploitation; we all require a herd at some point to surround us; we all at some point need guidance; and every single one of us needs to be fed and needs to feed others.
Prayer: Lord give me an opportunity everyday to love and feed others as you love
and feed us. Help us always to pass our wisdom and experiences in love and
may the message we give be received in love with the hopes of increasing the
love that you have placed in our hearts for all of creation. Please remove any
blocks we may have in sharing our light and when we in return our in need, may
we be open to receive.
Tai Amri Spann-Wilson is the co-pastor of worship and pastoral care at
First Christian Church of Oakland and is an after school tutor in East