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Intersection of Life and Faith

Teachers Represent Christ to Those They Serve

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 1 Mar
Teachers Represent Christ to Those They Serve
Teaching is a big responsibility, but it also offers unparalleled rewards. Whether your students are children in Sunday school, adults in a Bible study, or people in some other setting, you have many opportunities to significantly impact their lives. As you serve them, you represent Christ Himself.

Here are some ways you can seek God's help to serve well as a teacher:

  • Approach teaching from an attitude of wanting to learn yourself. Seek to discover what God wants to teach you through your students and your experiences on the job.

  • Rely on God's strength rather than your own. Regularly pray for His guidance about how you should set your priorities when deciding how to communicate your curriculum, how to help students of differing abilities, etc.

  • Srive to live out your faith consistently in all areas of your life - not just when you're in a classroom. Ask God for the grace to be a good role model for your students, practicing what you teach them.

  • Tell stories to relate the concepts you're trying to express. Jesus used stories many times when He communicated to others. Help your students understand how the principles you're teaching them relate to their own lives.

  • Help your students discover their dreams, then encourage and support them as they pursue those dreams.

  • Be patient, realizing that some of your students might struggle for a while before they master the material, but that everyone can learn. Understand that all people learn in different ways at different paces, and try to give each student personal attention, helping him or her in the ways that are most effective for that particular student.

  • Be creative, willing to take risks and continually try new ways of teaching concepts.

  • Speak positively about your students whenever you can, and squelch negative comments. Make it a habit to look for whatever positive characteristics you can find in your students, and focus on those. Remember to recognize the accomplishments of all your students, not just those who are academically gifted.

  • Equip your students to do tasks themselves rather than automatically doing tasks for them. Allow them to explore, to struggle, and to make mistakes, so they can learn how to grow more independent.

  • Take time off to rest. It's easy to become overwhelmed by teaching's demands. Set aside regular time on the Sabbath for personal renewal, and make sure that you get enough sleep. Ask God to show you what He wants you to do each day, and strive to focus on just that.

Adapted from A Month of Meditations for Teachers by Anne Marie Drew, Joan Laney, and Ellamarie Parkison, copyright 2000 by Dimensions for Living. Published by Abingdon Press, www.abingdon.org , 1-800-251-3320.

Has a particular teacher made a positive impact on your life? If so, how did he or she bless you? Do you teach people yourself, through your church, in a school, or in some other setting? If so, how have your teaching experiences taught you more about God? What rewards and challenges do you face as a teacher? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.

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