The church camp that I’m involved with is working on a staff handbook. As part of that work, we were given another camp’s handbook to look over. Since my main responsibility is teaching, I went to straight to the “Bible Teacher Guidelines”. The first item was this: the primary purpose of camp is to teach campers the Bible. As you can imagine, I was excited about this. That’s the 12 ounce sirloin for preachers like me. Then there was the second guideline, “Bible classes must be exciting and fun.” I became nervous. Since my own children describe me as “boring” and “not funny”, I may not be asked back to camp if we adopt these guidelines!
The teaching guidelines got me thinking about “Our Teacher”, Jesus Christ. “They were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had real authority – quite unlike the teachers of religious law.” (Mark 1:22 NLT) Jesus was a teacher unlike any other they had heard. He wasn’t just quoting a bunch of experts. He didn’t speak in a technical language that was above their heads. He told stories from every day life and made spiritual comparisons. He spoke in a simple language they could understand. He didn’t look down on them as inferior. He treated them as valuable individuals. He showed them that the teachings of God applied to real people in every day life in real situations. That was exciting!
Next, I began thinking about teachers at school. Which teachers at school were really helpful to you? While it is hard to sum them up in one word, I think of these special teachers as kind, caring, who were enthusiastic about the subject they taught. You could tell they cared for you and other students, and that they had that special knack for connecting the subject to your life. Many of the same traits we admire in classroom teachers is what Jesus exhibited to those first century students.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to teach others. Parents and grandparents have a unique responsibility to teach their children about Jesus. We follow the lead of Jesus. We speak in a way the children can understand. We don’t look down on them because they are young. We show them that Christ’s teaching affects daily life. By our lives and attention, they will know that we care. As we see these children grow and make Christ’s teachings their own, we are motivated to serve Christ even more. This is fun and exciting!
Written by Jimmy Hodges
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