Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Good! At least it is mostly good. Shepherds are responsible to feed their sheep, and we feed by teaching. So being a teacher is good. The “bad” part is that God holds us accountable for all we learn and pass on to others (James 3:1). Along with the privilege there is a responsibility to use it and an accountability to apply His truth to our own lives.
How do you know if you have the gift of teaching? When you communicate biblical truth to others, do they seem to grasp what you are saying? Do you enjoy trying to make a biblical concept understandable to others? Do stories, illustrations or examples of what you are talking about come to mind when speaking? Do you have a desire to learn the Bible better and to help others learn it, as well? Have people responded that you have helped them better understand the Bible? Then teaching is part of your spiritual gift mix.
The gift of teaching is the special ability God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to communication information relevant to the health and ministry of the listeners in a way that they will learn and be edified. Feeding the sheep is a wonderful privilege. Like the farmer who first benefits from the crops, so we who teach benefit most from the information God is passing through us. Don’t take credit for God’s gift, don’t let pride get in the way. Always make Jesus the One in focus, not yourself or your gift. Say as John said, “He must increase, I must decrease.” We are not trying to impress others so we can build our kingdom, we are trying to feed others so they can grow and increase God’s kingdom. Thank God for those who fed you, and ask Him to use you to feed those He brings into your life.
Ephesians 4:11, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…”
John 21:15-17, “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs….Take care of my sheep… Feed my sheep.'”
1 Corinthians 12:28, “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers.”
- Do you feel God has given you teaching as part of your spiritual gift mix?
- What are you doing to develop your gift? (reading about teaching, taking teaching or speaking classes, attending workshops, learning from someone with the gift of teaching, etc.)
- Do you work hard at your teaching, doing original research and developing good lesson plans? Or do you wing it and coast on your “gift of gap” to make your lessons interesting?
- Do you in any way steal glory from God by using your gift to bring attention or focus on yourself? If so, confess it and humble yourself before God.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on July 13, 2008