What Kind of Teacher are You?
It’s here. Yellow school buses fill the busy roads. Football teams sweat their way through two-a-day practices. The band beats just down the street.
Another school year is upon us. And I’m reminded of Dallas Willard’s words. His instruction challenges each of us who endeavor to teach others.
By showing to others the presence of the kingdom in the concrete details of our shared existence, we impact the lives and hearts of our hearers, not just their heads. And they won’t have to write it down to hold onto it (Taken from The Divine Conspiracy).
Great coaches use x’s and o’s to teach character. Great conductors use gestures to instill grace. And great artists use paint to cultivate imagination. But before there were classrooms and stadiums, Jesus took to the countryside. He used metaphors and stories, conversations and questions to instruct us about his kingdom. So shouldn’t his teaching methods inform mine?
As Willard points out, Jesus described his kingdom in terms of daily details. He talked about tasteless salt and well-lit cities. He transformed bread and fish to feed thousands. And he heralded his news from the hillside, not the capital, to common women and men longing for more.
Jesus spoke truth because he incarnates truth (John 1). He ushered in the kingdom because he leads the kingdom. And he invited his followers to test his teachings and then trust him, not just with their thinking but also in their practice.
Years ago a white-haired professor told me, “You walk with God and teach others out of that.” I’ve never forgotten his words. Before Peter proclaimed forgiveness at Pentacost, he experienced restoration after denying his Lord. Before James became an apostle, he questioned if his half-brother was really the Messiah. And before John saw apocalyptic visions, he struggled to decipher Jesus’ talk about the end of the age.
Will I too share where I stumble? Will I speak about the places where I struggle to understand God’s instruction? Or will I talk about places where I haven’t walked? Will I share truths that I haven’t allowed to change me?
In a few days I’ll walk into my own church classroom, filled with women who long to know and live out the Bible. How will I teach them? Will I sit and soak in God’s Word until I have something to share? Will I show them the treasures I’ve discovered and how to mine truth for themselves? Will I share not just my knowledge but also the ways I’m applying what I’ve found?
Jesus practiced what he preached. His disciples taught from what they heard and saw their Master teach. Do I? Do we?
As women who are teachers, ministers, lay persons, wives, moms, and daughters, let’s lead from where we’ve been and speak about what we’ve seen. Let’s teach like Jesus taught. No notebook paper needed.