What sort of teacher am I? Every now and then I get in a black funk where I start reexamining my motives or questioning any gift the Lord has granted or checking the barometric pressure of my big head and I sit off to the side, somberly reflecting. Maybe its that I’m tired (two kids plus one newborn can do that) or maybe its that I’m in a new area where my ministry has changed from working with urban minority teens and college age folk to working mostly with rural, white over-sixty year olds that’s causing this reflection. I don’t know what’s causing it but this time I decided to write it down.
The teaching/preaching in the rural/white churches is expectantly different but then my mind reels since I know for an absolute fact that I’m not going to be opening eyes on someone bordering eighty. I find then that my teaching ministry leans more towards reflective (read supportive) preaching where the glory of Christ’s ultimate redemptive work (of all creation especially these dying bodies) are highlightedâ€”but that’s just about how everyone preaches down here (besides messages on the second Coming and the importance of New Testament Principles).
But my concern isn’t the other teachers: it’s me. I know that the way I look at Scripture and subsequently teach (distinct from preaching) may only be helpful to the older saints after realigning it with some of the stuff they’re mostly concerned with right now (mortality, sickness, the loss of friends and family, the future reunion with them, etc.). But what I’m convicted of is what I want to teach but that winds up being purely selfish if I know the older saints aren’t benefiting.
Or how about practicing what I teach? I’m convinced of the need to befriend sinners, to live the gospel in front of my neighbors and new friends but I find that I’m not a very keen on meeting new friends. I sort of grunt “hello” to my neighbors and actually struggle with supermarket small talk even though, by all accounts and historical evidence, I am very much the extrovert. It’s like this selfish concern to keep my own time to myself and I find it’s in direct contradiction to what I believe.
So my post doesn’t come with a proper conclusion. I’m left still struggling wondering what sort of teacher am I and what sort of teacher do I want to be. As I teach from church to church am I going to stick to the cultural preaching norms of my ecclesiological community, am I going to teach from my convictions, or something else?
What sort of teacher am I?