Gifts
Train to Heaven
The Courage of Love

If Your Gift is Teaching

Apple for the Teacher11 Corinthians 12:28-31 ESV

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

It’s back to school time again. This was a time of beginnings for most of my life – first my own up through Law School, then my kids’. But now, it’s just another season.

Of course, in the Church, there is never a ‘back-to-school’ because the learning never ends! Sunday School didn’t pause this summer, and why should it? There’s so much to learn, so much to teach and so little time to impart eternal wisdom. Just this past Sunday one student, who reads his Children’s Bible every day, asked “What’s a Christian?” Ha! That one isn’t in the Book, folks, and it’s an example of the things that can get overlooked while we’re busy teaching that God was always with Joseph, even in the hardest times, because God loves us – no matter what!

In God’s plan, teachers are important. In the passage from 1 Corinthians, they’re listed second only to missionaries and pastors. There should be Christian education happening at all ages and stages throughout the whole church. Learning, following and teaching God’s laws, precepts, and commands is foundational:

Deuteronomy 6:6-8

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Did you have a favorite teacher or Sunday School teacher? What made them special and memorable? My guess is that they were enthusiastic, fun, took the time to know you, nurtured your talent, perhaps imparted some wisdom, or held you accountable and got the best from you. Here’s a secret: you could do that! Teaching is a bunch of skills that can be learned, but everyone can share their wisdom or enthusiasm. There are all kinds of students and all kinds of teachers…and that’s a good thing.

“But earnestly desire the higher gifts,” says the Apostle Paul. Teaching is right up there. Search your heart and consider if teaching is a gift that you have or would like to develop. Right after this passage is the ‘love’ passage. All the gifts that Paul mentions are given by God so that we can show His love to others. Sharing God’s Word with children is a precious, priceless gift we can give them. As the Sunday School teacher I’m no doubt partial, but I think that learning that God loves you – no matter what – and that He gave His only Son so that you could live forever in Heaven, and live your very best life here on earth is more important than Algebra, History or even Art Class.

And as children move into their teen years, the need is even more pressing. The difficult choices and search for self and beliefs become all too real all too quickly. How important it is to really know and believe that God loves you – you, personally and individually – when your body and ideas are changing so rapidly, and it feels like no one really ‘gets’ you.

If we plant the seeds of faith early, the harvest can be great. Even kids who may feel that they’ve ‘outgrown’ Jesus will still have a foundation to cling to when difficulties come. Perhaps this was your story, or your child’s story. That’s some wisdom you can impart!

Is teaching one of your gifts? Think about it. We need teachers and helpers in all of our Sunday School classes. We need teachers and facilitators for adult Bible Studies. We could have a Women’s Study Group, a Men’s Study Group, a Parents’ Study Group, a Marriage Study Group, a Finances Study Group and countless others. We need teachers and facilitators for Small Groups. Teaching is discipling – and what did Jesus specifically ask us, His Church, to do while we wait for eternity with Him?

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Boom. Mic drop. 🎤

Blessings of lifelong learning,

Jen

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