Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Role of the Teacher and Praise Perspectives

Just to say how happy I am and honoured to have made it to 200 posts this year before the last quarter begins. I am really grateful to God for getting the level of consistency to this level.

I’ve been rather poorly lately, but have battled on despite everything to carry on with things like work, family and being an usher at the wedding of a dear friend. As ever, however, tonight has been the teacher training session and it has proven again to be a source of much thought and contemplation. Indeed after it I felt somewhat refreshed by the experience and in the context of the day I’ve had today from it I came out with two outstanding thoughts.

The first was on the topic of the role of the teacher. Is teaching a lonely vocation? In the light of the micro-teach and being able to see how our tutor did what happened it got me thinking about what the role of the teacher really is. There is the assumption that the teacher is the fount of all knowledge in a given area and all must bow and learn from them. I don’t think that’s the case and so I believe there must be an alternative,

I believe Jesus lives out that alternative. It is a testament to His impact that He has been able to get people to remember His teachings and endeavour to live them out and pass them along as they do so. This is so much the case that we have gospel accounts where He has not written a word of it yet He speaks resonantly clear for all to read and hear, see and learn from.

So I’m thinking that the measure of a good teacher is not the wealth of their information base, or their charismatic personality and beguiling communication style. There has to be more to it. There has to be an element of authenticity and challenge in that which is taught and the nature with which it is taught that engages the learner to actually take on board the material and allow their lives to be shaped by it. So much so that when the teaching is transferred from the teacher to the learner and then the learner becomes teacher and looks to replicate the process in their own personal style.

The second thought was about the importance of the perspective of praise. I was encouraging a friend in a text sharing that I had prayed for wisdom, peace and clarity in the situation. What it reminded me of is that our first place is not to consider what we have to do, but what God has already done. It really was a balm to my own recent health challenges triggered by self-imposed pressure by the things I have assumed and feel I should do. I’ve had good words of counsel to pace myself and to ensure I do not to put myself through the mill. All of these were sound words of guidance for me leading to this reminder.

As I pondered further I looked at how God made the garden and then set the man in it and then told him what to do in it. Especially in the context of Genesis 2 it is clear that all the fruit in the garden is for man to enjoy. That is to say the work it/keep it deal, is in the light of what has already been done for him. So man does what he does in the light of what has been done for Him.

When I consider what has been done for me in God creating me, Jesus dying for me and the Holy Spirit making me alive again. When I consider the provisions made for me in relational, physical, financial, intellectual and spiritual issues it shows how great God is and what great things He has done. It is on that premise of praise that I go forward in doing what I am called to do with much joy, not in the light of apparently averse circumstances, but in the light of God’s promise, presence and power.

For His Name's Sake



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