Are Teachers Born or Made?

Are Teachers Born or Made?

I have seen some wonderful teachers in my life. Some had lots of training behind them. Some reached my heart with excellence in methodology. Others grabbed my imagination with stories. Some were self-taught. They never thought of themselves as great teachers. Yet God used them in my life. I am where I am because of outstanding teachers who taught me God’s grace.

Henrietta Mears studied teaching. She honed her skills. She was strategic in her planning, preparation, delivery, and follow up. She knew teachers were not born; they are made.

Teachers are not born; they are made. However, a person must have the natural desire to be taught. A good teacher is first of all teachable himself. We must train workmen in our Sunday Schools that need not be ashamed. A teacher must know his subject, observe his pupils, and then do something about them. The more a teacher depends upon the Holy Spirit, the more will he wish to make himself an instrument fit for His use. He will want to know how God made the human mind. He will desire to probe the depths of the human heart. He will seek to know the laws that govern his approach to his pupil, who was created to be a temple of the living God. But failure to work according to God’s laws and lack of definiteness have characterized much that has been done under the name of Sunday School teaching. (“Henrietta Cornelia Mears” in the Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project)

We can learn a lot as we think through Mears’ words. Ask yourself some questions from this paragraph:

  • Am I teachable? If we will not learn, we surrender the ability to teach.
  • Do I take advantage of training opportunities through my church and denominational resources?
  • How do I learn the subject I am teaching?
  • How well do I know my learners?
  • How do I build relationships with my learners?
  • Am I depending on the Holy Spirit as I study and teach?
  • Am I open to the Spirit’s work in my life?
  • Do I pray for the Spirit’s work in the lives of my learners?
  • Do I value every learner as being made in the image of God?
  • Am I clear about what I teach?

Teachers are made. What are you doing to let God make you into the teacher He wants?

Scripture: Read 2 Timothy 2:2. Where are you in the chain of teaching God’s Word?

Dig Deeper: Read about Henrietta Mears in “Outrageous Hats and Sunday School” by Marlene Baer here.

Published: May 18, 2017


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