I shared this elsewhere, and it got some “likes” so I thought I’d blog about it:
“The spiritual gift of teaching is not wanted in many churches. Clarification – it is wanted if the teacher is from ‘without’ and found on DVD based curriculum put out by a famous church/pastor or a major Christian publisher. A real, in the flesh, teacher at your church? No way.”
– So, thoughts anyone? Churches do not want a teacher. They want a facilitator. Someone to press play on a DVD, and then guide discussion afterwards. I am not saying there is never a time for this. There is some worthwhile curriculum out there.
But why the distrust or even aversion to a real, in-the-flesh, teacher? I suppose some have been exposed to “bad” teaching – by bad I don’t mean heretical, but someone who tries to teach but it is not very good. (They either did not have the gift of teaching or lacked training.)
But there are gifted and capable teachers out there NOT being utilized!
The church needs teachers. Ephesians 4: 11-13 says:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Consider that much DVD based curriculum BEGAN with an in-the-flesh teacher at a local church – and it got recorded and exported for others. What if that church had not let them teach?
I avoid DVD based studies. I want an in-the-flesh teacher. Someone who has spent time and effort studying and preparing, who can teach and guide us as we learn the Scripture.
I am a teacher. I want to teach. I want to do more than facilitate. (Note more than. Teaching will, of course, involve some facilitation of discussion, etc.)
Curriculum is good for those without a teaching gift. It gives structure. There are people who are not teachers, but are gifted facilitators. I know a couple. This can be a win-win. With a quality DVD, and a gifted facilitator, it can create an ideal situation.
But I am a teacher. I like to prepare my own curriculum. Having to use a curriculum is like being put in a strait jacket. I must do my own study to feel confident in what I teach. Trying to follow another person’s lessons is contrived, frustrating – my style may be totally different, etc.
Please, let me teach! You let the DVD teach. Why not me?
Adding this note regarding the last paragraph: Some could respond that I can use a curriculum but do my own separate personal study. Of course. However, if I put hours into study, and then come back to the curriculum – that is precisely where frustration arises… I now am filled with ideas about how to teach and organize the lessons that may be rather different from the curriculum! Straight jacket! Also don’t misunderstand, that I may get ideas from a certain curriculum – and incorporate an idea from it into my own lesson plans. I use many, many sources when preparing to teach or preach.
Update: Leah from Ezer Rising recently shared similar concerns on facebook:
“When we constantly look to published writers to teach us, we ignore the teachers in our midst and severely limit what they are able to do…It is high-time for the Church to begin recognizing the gifted teachers in her midst.”
Another post I wrote about Preparing Bible Studies.