by Phil Baker
“Good teacher,” he asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.”
Did you have a favorite teacher in school? Maybe someone who really connected with you or made a special effort to help you learn. For me, it was Mr. Mike Bowman. He was all of 5 feet tall at his proudest. Me and all the other seniors looked down on him while we looked up to him. But he commanded the classroom with his enthusiastic zeal for literature which expressed itself through his animated lectures. But he also made us laugh with his humorous commentary on current events of the world and our school.
How about a favorite Sunday School teacher? Mr. Robert Clifft taught me in Jr High. He was (and still is) an avid hunter and outdoorsman who makes his own turkey calls. He would spin yarns that could rival Jerry Clower. He even took the entire class fishing one Saturday, cleaning and frying our catches for lunch!
I made my first foray into teaching several years ago when my wife and I agreed to teach a Sunday School class for college age students. It was difficult at first. But I quickly found my voice and rhythm as a teacher. What I quickly discovered was that by teaching the Bible, I was learning so much more myself. I was forced to firmly grasp concepts and thoroughly explore passages.
Every church needs teachers – Sunday School teachers, small group teachers, children’s teachers. The pastor is just one man and can’t do it all. If you’ve never lead a class, I encourage you to consider giving it a go. It is definitely scary at first, but ultimately rewarding. You not only connect with those you teach, but you learn so much about yourself and what you’re capable of. And, as I mentioned above, you gain such a deeper understanding of the Bible, God & Jesus.
You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t even have to be good. Just be willing. Be yourself. Whether you write your own material, just push play on a DVD series or color with some kids, I guarantee your students will always remember you just as fondly as I remember Mr. Bowman and Mr. Clifft.