Paul wrote that he faced daily pressures centered around his concern for the first-century church (2 Cor. 11:28). The pressure Paul faced no doubt led him to pray for the churches he’d planted, their leaders, and the members of those congregations.
In nature, pressure creates diamonds, yet beautiful things don’t always emerge when it is felt in our lives. Yet pressure can have positive benefits if it is properly applied.
In golf, the pressure applied to a golf ball by an iron creates a “pinching” of the ball between the face of the club and the ground. The pressure applied to the back of the golf ball causes it to launch into the air (you have to get used to hitting down to get the ball to go up!).
In your teaching ministry, pressure is a good thing. It produces at least 3 good results:
- Teachers feel pressure to guard their lives and doctrine closely. You probably know someone who failed to keep their opinion of themselves in check, and even worse, you may know someone who did not guard their doctrine closely (I Timothy 4:16). Teachers face the pressure of conducting themselves with dignity and honor at all times, and to make certain that the things they teach from God’s Word align with Scripture.
- Teachers feel pressure to focus their group’s attention outwardly. Over time, most groups turn inward. It’s just a fact of group life. Great group leaders always feel the pressure of challenging themselves and their group members to constantly refocus attention on people outside the group. Pressure is felt to continually reach new people for Christ. “Our four and no more” is a phrase that does not cross the lips of people who are concerned about the lost.
- Teachers feel pressure to stay focused on pleasing Jesus. Paul told Timothy that no one serving as a solder gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please his commanding officer (2 Tim. 2:4). To please Jesus, Christians must focus on what is most important – living for Jesus and doing the will of the Father. Losing focus on this will almost surely lead to ruin for the person who allows him or herself to be distracted by the world.