Sunday, January 06, 2013

What do I teach? Scott McKnight relates that when professors meet they invariably ask, "What do you teach?" The normal response would identify the area of curriculum they taught: philosophy, English, Bible, communications, etc. Scott writes: "One time, as a young professor, I asked the common professorial question to a wise and gentle professor: 'What do you teach?' His response stunned me: 'I teach students. What do you teach?' He made me realize in a new way what I am called to do...That wise professor's answer and question changed how I approach what I do. I need to remind myself of this as I enter the class: I'm not teaching just a subject matter but students who need to come into contact with the subject matter. The standard approach, where the focus is teaching a subject is not relational and personal enough. Teachers are teaching students a particular subject matter. They are not teaching a subject matter to students. The differencd is a big difference." In a few hours I will teach . . . as I do many weekends at Calvary Church. My subject will be the Bible -- God's amazing story for all people everywhere. The particular theme today is "Living in a covenant community led by elders." I know, it's not a very inspiring title, but it summarizes this special weekend when we affirm our member covenant and install the new elder team to lead the church. What I hope and pray I will remember and do is that I am teaching PEOPLE. The subject is the Bible - a wonderful topic -- the very best-- but it is people who are the object of God's loving communication in the Scriptures. Sometimes I, like other teachers, love to teach . . . and love to teach the Bible. Those aren't bad. But it makes a world of difference when I love the people I teach. May God help me so to do.

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