** DISCLAIMER!! I am NOT a Master Teacher, but I do desire to be one some day.**
Throughout my years of schooling and teaching, there has been one book, other than the Bible, that has influenced me the most when it comes to teaching. It’s a thin little rectangle of a book with only 36 pages and it was written by Rev. James M. Hatch. (HERE is a lovely article written about this beloved professor.) The book is called TEACHING: the heart of God’s redemptive program.
I pulled out this book to remind myself once again how to teach. The Awana year is beginning and homeschooling is in full swing, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared.
I believe the process of teaching is similar to the process of sanctification: the more I learn about God, the more I want to behave like Him; therefore, the more I learn about how God teaches His children, the more I want to be able to teach as He does.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 tells us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart…These words…shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently.” Then Jesus tells us to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,” in Matthew 28:19-20.
“Those who would be involved with what God is doing must be involved with teaching.” (Hatch, 3) That’s a pretty inclusive statement. I want to be involved in what God is doing. Don’t you? I want Him to use me and use the talents and gifts with which He has blessed me. Don’t you?
“But not everyone has been given the gift of teaching,” you might say.
Well, what is “teaching?”
Usually the picture of teaching that we have in our heads is of one person standing in the front of a room with pupils in chairs listening. Information is given, and then perhaps tested, therefore teaching has taken place. “Yet the Word of God presents something entirely different and calls it teaching.” (Hatch, 5)
What does the term “training” mean to you? Perhaps you think about a sports team or athlete. Maybe the military. Yes, there is some classroom time, but hopefully a part of their training includes time out in the field.
Think of a train engine. It doesn’t stand still and tell the cars to leave Jacksonville and travel all the way to New York City. No, it pulls the cars to the desired destination. “Training is thus the process in which one person takes another person, in his behavior, to the place where the first person already is…the process by which the behavior of one person is changed into conformity with a standard exemplified by another.” (Hatch, 6)
So here, again, is sanctification: the process by which God transforms me to be holy as He is holy. God wants to transform me into the same image as His Son.
So teaching, or training, must be the process by which our students change to meet a standard that we are modeling.
So what standard should we exemplify?
…To be Continued……………….
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.