Today’s blog post, like all those on Mondays, is an excerpt from a book on teaching, group ministry, or Christian education. Today’s book excerpt comes from a classic one written by Robert Pazmino. In Basics of Teaching for Christians, Pazmino discusses how our preparation to teach is really an act of love and and act of worship. In his own words, here is Robert Pazmino:
The preparation of the teacher involves the heart, the spirit or the soul, the mind, and the body or strength of the teacher. The categories of heart, mind, soul, and strength will be recognized as those named in the first of two great commandments found in the Scriptures…one implication of associating the preparation for teaching with the love is that such preparation can be viewed as an act of love and a form of worship that seeks to give glory to God. Preparation can be an expression of loving care for the ministry of teaching to which one is called by God. The second of the two great commandments, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, can be associated with the care of preparation for one’s students, for the context in which the teaching is planned to occur, and for the content of the teaching itself. In this case, one’s students can be viewed as neighbors during the time of interaction with a teacher. The same categories of heart, mind, soul, and strength can be applied to students or participants in the teaching.
If you have taught for years, perhaps you have come to view your preparation as drudgery. If you are new to teaching, you may think of preparation with a degree of fear and trembling since you’ll be on the hot seat and the center of the group’s attention when you guide the Bible study. I hope that Pazmino’s take on preparation as an act of love might inspire you and help you to see what you do as a teacher as an act of worship to God. May God grant you a new outlook this week as you prepare to teach others His Word.