TEACH…….. I believe that I was born to teach. It’s in my blood. I come from a line of teachers. My Mema was a high school English teacher and also a guidance counselor in Hohenwald, TN (bet you’ve never heard of that town!). My Pop was a banker, but he was always teaching people how to handle their money better! My mother was an Elementary school teacher and guidance counselor, working the last 16 years before retiring as the counselor at Garden Lakes Elementary School. My father was a teacher and basketball coach for several years after graduating from college and then took a job as an Epidemiologist for the Health Dept (where he got to research outbreaks of diseases and then teach others about how to prevent these things). My older sister is an Occupational Therapist (she teaches people who have been injured or sick how to do simple daily activities again). My younger sister works at a camp where she communicates with parents about the camp and teaches them about what to expect when their child comes to camp. My mom’s brother, Albert, is a Chemist, and although I’m not sure what his job entails, I am sure that he has to teach others of what he finds! His wife, my Aunt Christy was a Middle School teacher when they lived in TN. Two of their children (my cousins) are teachers. My cousin, Jeremy (that’s Dr. Ricketts), is an Assistant Professor of English at Bethel University. His sister, Amanda, has been a teacher and now is a guidance counselor in Louisiana. Lots of teachers in my family. See, I told you it was in my blood.
When I was a child I wanted to be a teacher. I used to play school. I would tear out pages from some of my mom’s old notebooks and lay them out on my bedroom floor. Those were the students desks. And then I would stand at the front of my bedroom and teach. Who knows what I would say. Something I loved to play as a child, is what I became as an adult. But, at that age I never imagined myself as a teacher in the church. I thought I would be a school teacher. It’s in my blood to teach in the schools, right? Well, God had a different plan and wanted to use me as a teacher in the church. Today, I cannot imagine myself teaching anywhere else. I love it! I enjoy it so much and found that I really love teaching children.
This week I have been working on some essay questions that I had to answer for my certification in Christian Education. One of the questions asked to me to state my commitment to the nature and the mission of the church. I immediately went right to Matthew 28:16-20, The Great Commission. Jesus commands his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” I have always known it to be the mission of the church, but as I re-read it the other day, the last part really stuck out to me: TEACH THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. It was like it was screaming right at me. That is what God wants me to do. To teach. And I will continue teaching in the church because that is what Jesus wants me to do. I am to teach others to obey everything that Jesus has said. I will teach these precious children about the Bible, about Jesus and how he was born to save us, about the many wonderful stories of the Old and New Testament. Lately I feel like God is wanting me to do some things, but haven’t felt confident in my abilities to do what I feel he wants me to do. This Scripture reminded me how important teaching is and how I am teaching in EVERYTHING that I do. Our Prayer Minister at church and my friend, Kerri Johnson, reminded me this week that God does not call the equipped, he equips the called. No matter what Jesus wants me or you to do, we have to be confident in the gifts and abilities he has given us. Jesus was a teacher and he wants us to be teachers as well. We are all teachers (in some way or fashion). How are you living out this command to teach and make disciples of Christ?