Gifts
Small Whisper
In God We Trust

Teach Well

Apple for the Teacher lvls autofixThey came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth…. Mark 12:14

I love school. I’m what people call a lifetime learner. A classroom is my happy place. From preschool with it’s bright-colored kid sized furniture and picture books, to elementary school with the fun, seasonally themed bulletin boards right on up to college and law school with intimidating theater style seating. While not so much a fan of physical adventure, I’m always ready for the intellectual adventure of learning. I haven’t met a subject yet that I couldn’t get excited about.

I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm about learning with other people too. Some people call that teaching. (Others call it annoying. 😉) For me it’s as natural as breathing. I realized I was a teacher when I had kids. They’d ask questions and I had answers. They’d ask hundreds of questions and we’d just get a Bible or a book or a telescope or an atlas and find the answers together. We just kept going until they were teaching me new things.

Jesus was a Teacher in a similar way. Of course, He was thoroughly familiar with His subject of God’s Word. He sat with His disciples or with vast crowds of people or just one-on-one and challenged people to really think using stories and by asking questions. He threw in object lessons using concepts people were familiar with such as farming, the weather, the seasons, etc. to get His point across. And He let his disciples try out their new-found concepts and skills with hands on healing and preaching. The world was His classroom and class was always in session. 

Our Sunday School curriculum is much the same. We put a big emphasis on having fun and getting kids to really think about the stories and imagine what it would be like to be there. We encourage them to share about how it relates to their own lives. We do some crafts, some games and some experiments, all to reinforce the lesson. And we repeat, repeat, repeat God’s Word to get it stuck in their hearts and heads.

As Christians we are called to be lifetime learners AND life-time teachers. There is always something new to be gleaned from God’s Word. At different ages and stages in life, and whether in a valley of struggles or a peak of enlightenment, the Bible can speak to us in very different ways although the words are the same. This is a mystery, but it is nevertheless true. If we become parents we are mandated to speak to our children about God in our comings and goings and to make Christian education a priority. Even if we don’t have kids, we’ve promised to help raise Godly children in our church family. And as we all know by now, it takes a village of teachers, carers, parents, pastors and friends to raise Godly children these days.

Similarly, there is always something that you can teach others in the congregation. Older members have valuable life experience and perspective to share with younger members. Younger members may have a better grasp of technology or social trends and their impact on the church. And divorce, addiction, death of a loved one, surviving illness, working on the mission field, volunteering with the needy and many other life experiences yield valuable insights that others may need. The wisdom of the Bible comes alive when it is paired with examples of how it was lived out in the testing crucible of life.

And naturally, we are all teaching by example every day everywhere. We make the choice daily to be a good example or cautionary tale in those various ‘teachable moments’ life throws at us.

As the kids, teens and adults head back to school, virtually and in-person, I want to say “Thank You!” to all teachers, past, present and future. Preschool, Sunday School, Homeschool, Bible Study…it is all a high calling and an often draining one. Giving of yourself means there’s not much left of you by the end of the class. But it shapes minds and molds spirits and sets hearts on fire. It is the method God put in place for us to make disciples (students), and to imitate Christ is to learn to be a rabbi (teacher)!

Lord, please place Your loving hand of protection over all our schools and teachers. Guard them, watch over them and keep them safe. Give teachers, professors and administrators wisdom and strength. Fill them with encouragement daily. Help our students to learn, not just reading and math, but also kindness, compassion and integrity. Lead them into a relationship with You as they grow. And let them know they are loved. Amen.

Blessings,

Jen Jahromi

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