When I was in high school, someone at my church asked me to start teaching a Sunday School class for boys who were in junior high school. I did so, had a great time, and thus embarked on a practice that – except for very few years – has been a staple in my life since then.
I took a break from teaching a few years ago after many years of co-leading the college ministry at my church. Except for occasional substitute teaching for others, I have had the joy for a while of participating as a student under the quality leadership of others. It was a treat to do so.
But now it’s time to put back to use those teaching inclinations and abilities – time to get back in the saddle. Every skills inventory I’ve taken for decades identified teaching as a skill, so it seems a shame to not put it to use except for an occasional lull to rest and reload.
So Sunday morning, August 5, I begin a new class for adults at my church. The initial target group is a number of men and women who are either in some recovery program or dealing with some serious life issues and difficulties. Anyone else is welcome to attend, of course. The focus is on what we are studying and not on our life circumstances.
I debated for a while about teaching again because the selfish part of me wants to continue attending another class taught by a gifted, knowledgeable man. But when the reasons for not teaching are selfish and the reasons for teachings are other-centered, the better choice is obvious.
All of us are gifted in a different ways. We know how good it feels to do things we do well, just as we know how frustrating it is to be expected to do something outside our comfort zones. If you are unsure of your talents, skills, gifts or abilities, then it’s time you take a formal test or have a series of conversations with others who know you well so that you can figure out where you excel.
Doing so will help you live out leap year lesson #213 – Put your talents to work.