I’ve already started a teacher training session with a circle response activity wherein I asked everyone to communicate in one word or noise how they felt about teaching. Replies ranged from “ugh” to excited. What I discovered is that responses often stemmed out of one of the following:
1) how they were gifted
2) how they were recruited
3) how they perceived God would use them
How They Were Gifted: If a person did not have the gift of teaching, exhortation, prophecy, or perhaps pastor, they tended to feel insecure, afraid of failing, and frustrated. However, those who had these gifts, especially the gift of teaching, tended to find themselves with a renewable energy that converted into an excitement and passion about teaching.
How They Were Recruited: If arm-twisted into teaching or made to feel guilty if they didn’t, more times than not, even if spiritually gifted to teach, they tended to lack enthusiasm and even begrudged the time they had to invest into teaching. If nabbed in the parking lot, they tended to have a low view of their role. However, those who were approached in a serious manner and were given time to pray about their decision, tended to perceive teaching with more of a priority and sense of purpose. They tended to be more enthused and willing to invest time and effort into it.
How They Perceived God Would Use Them: If just doing their time with hopes something good might come out of it, they tended to display some apathy, having a spiritual lethargy. However, if they truly believed that God would use them to make a difference in people’s lives, trusting God to not let His Word return void (Isa. 55:11), they tended to find joy and have a sense of anticipation every time they entered the classroom.
The PowerPoint Presentation, Rediscovering the Joy of Teaching, addresses this point, showing how JOY comes through an anticipation of what Jesus will do through you as you invest into other people’s lives, keeping a proper perspective of your place and purpose in teaching.
If the needle on the gauge of your feelings toward teaching is pointing more toward “ugh” rather than excitement, perhaps this resource is for you. It can be used by individual teachers or in a group. You do not need to have the PowerPoint program on your computer if you download Microsoft’s free viewer.
For those of you who are in leadership, remember these points as you recruit. Look for people who are spiritually gifted to teach. Take great care in the way you recruit people that you are communicating the importance of the task. And, be sure to emphasize the ultimate purpose and potential of them teaching.
For those of you being sought after to teach, look for your best fit in ministry based on your spiritual gifts. Do not let someone pressure you into teaching without spending time in prayer. Know if it is something GOD wants you to do. If it is, depend on Him to use you to make a difference in people’s lives.
For those of you already teaching who do not feel very good about it, trust God to work through you, even if teaching is not your best fit or if you are not doing it for the right reasons because of how you were recruited. Work toward a better fit in ministry when the time is right. It is about God’s will and timing, which could be a temporary placement in teaching.
For those of you already teaching who do feel good about it, praise the Lord yet be careful. Stay alert, standing firm in the Lord and His mighty power. The enemy is like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour. All that he must do is to rob you of your joy to render you less effective.