Friday, March 9, 2012

The best time spent all week...

I have the tremendous blessing of teaching a Sunday School class where I attend church. The class is also comprised of the age group I have a passion for ministering and teaching...that group of young adults either in college or just entering the work force.

In previous post, I've explained the reasons this demographic is so important to me, and God provided a means for me to serve where my heart happened to be. The teacher I followed a couple of years back set a tremendous precedence for this class with his diligent approach to helping students in the class click on that light bulb. Reach that a-ha moment of understanding.  His mentoring helped me develop the same diligent approach and also established the principle in me that God's word and preparation can make an eternal difference in the life of a young person struggling in their spiritual walk.  His influence, council and encouragement are every bit as vital today in that cause.

Because it seems to appeal to the age group, we don't used a fixed curriculum and planning publications. Each calendar quarter, we established a direction for the coming months of class. That may include a detailed look at a particular book in the Bible, person, or even a subject matter from an apologetics point of view. We've tackled world religions, women of the Bible, the Book of James and recently a closer look at the Twelve Disciples of Jesus.

While I often use outside sources to frame the context of our subject matter, the vast majority of my study comes in the Word. As I methodically prepare for each series and then each individual class, I can spend as much as 12 to 15 hours a week reading and referencing what the Bible says. Often that research will take me on a completely unexpected path of study, and I most always end up discovering a point or two that have failed to register in previous readings of the same Scriptures.

I absolutely love that about God's Word!

For the sake of focus, I try to stay away from studies or topics outside of my class preparation subject. On occasion, I have taken on a question or subject matter at the request of someone. A few months back, I participated with two other instructors in a series presented on Wednesday nights called Essentials. My segments included the basic biblical and historical facts concerning both Jesus and the Bible. While I was temporarily overwhelmed time-wise with research for both the series and my Sunday School class, the blessings were even more overwhelming, and quite frankly...have changed my life.

Not everyone is called to teach. I understand that God blesses with different gifts. But, we are all called to share, and that, in essence, is a form of teaching and requires study and research for each Christian. While you may never write a position article on the concepts of sola fide or free will, your understanding of the grace, mercy and love of God as presented in His Word are why He has you where He has you at this moment. Always be ready to share.     


Linda Maynard said...

Tony, can I be in your class?
I know that for me, when I go to a class and the teacher has passion for the subject and a heart for the students, I do better in those circumstances.Probably most of us would agree with that.
Even though I have never met you in person, what I have come to see is that you are the real deal...a man who tries to the best of his ability to follow hard after the not afraid to admit when he falls short...and just keeps forging ahead.
You are a teacher that I could learn from.
Thanks Tony!

Tony C said...

Thank you for the very kind words Linda. Your encouragement is truly a blessing to me.

Joyce Lighari said...

I should get back in the habit of going to Sunday School or better yet, I'd love to teach... Great word as always.