Tuesday, 17 April 2012

on the role of teaching

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  John 14:25-27 (NIV)

Well here I am again.  Still not sure what the purpose or good of this blog is, I'm nevertheless feeling compelled to write again.....

For the past little while I've been questioning what my role or purpose is within the Body of Christ specifically as it pertains to teaching.  I've spoken at a couple of retreats and have been asked to be in a bit of a teaching position in other areas.  While on the one hand these kinds of opportunities are very exciting for me, on the other I find them terrifying.  I find them exciting because I'm excited for people to know God better and to think that I could be helpful in facilitating a deeper intimacy with Him is fantastic.  I find it terrifying when I become acutely aware of the fact that what I don't know vastly outweighs what I do know.  So I'm left in a quandary of wanting to teach in the hopes that I can help people grow closer to God and at the same time not wanting to teach for fear that I'll say the wrong thing or will be found to be inadequate.  I could go on and on about the intricacies of my thoughts on teaching and what a teacher is but I'll spare you the long details and just get to the point.

Totally out of the blue today, I felt like God downloaded something into me that provides an answer to my quandary.  Specifically, I understood that I am foremost and fundamentally a student and that this is where my strength comes from.  I am a student and He is the Teacher.  And of course not only me but all of us who are on this journey of getting to know God. While there are some things that I have learned from the Master that I can teach to others, I only do this within the framework of them also being students of the Master. It's like in a University where I have friends taking the same subjects with the same Prof....sometimes they miss a class and I need to fill them in.  Other times I don't understand the concept that the Prof is trying to get across and so my friend explains it to me in a different way so that I get it.  While some of us may be new students and some of us older, what matters is that we all relate to one another as friends and students with the same Master Teacher.

I'm pretty excited about this because He has provided me with a healthy framework in which to relate to other Christians.  One of my fundamental problems with teaching was that I never felt like I was qualified enough to be called teacher.  However, I do have a longing to let everyone know what I know because God is just so abundantly awesome that I want everyone to experience the exciting life of freedom that He brings.  What I believe He's telling me is that we're really all students anyways.  If He wants to get me to clarify a point for Him with someone because I have the life experience or whatever necessary to help that person see the concept that He is trying to teach, that's great.  He is the initiator and the author of all such teaching encounters anyways.  I don't have to know it all in order to teach what little I do know.....all I'm doing is explaining to a fellow sojourner what I have been taught, knowing that either this same or another sojourner will in turn explain something to me that he or she has been taught.  Symbiosis.  Awesome.

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