Hopefully someone has thanked you for your ministry of teaching. Oh, you may not be a “professional” teacher. You may “only” volunteer once a month or once a week. You may just be “helping” a church or a ministry. Whether you understand the impact of what you are doing or not, the reality is – you have a teaching ministry.
Your teaching and how you interact with your students and their parents can have an enormous impact on their spiritual growth and health. You may be the person they are looking to as a reflection of God’s love. You can even be an example for the families you are serving for a loving Christian who serves and shares her faith.
To be really effective in your ministry though, you are going to have to become involved in the lives of your students and their families. I know, what you are thinking. You don’t have the time or energy. You aren’t trained to help people. You are afraid of somehow “messing up” or making a mistake. You just can’t believe God is calling you to do more than just volunteer to help in your class.
I have been and am often in your shoes. I will be honest. Becoming involved in the lives of people can be exhausting, messy and even frustrating. Even Jesus became exhausted from constantly helping and teaching others and had to go off by himself to rest and pray. Yet throughout his ministry, Jesus continued to minister to others.
If you are concerned about what will happen, start small. Get to know the parents of your students. Simple things like their names, if they have other children and other basic information. Speak to each of them with love every time you see them.
Gradually increase your involvement in simple ways. Ask your families if they have something you can pray about for them. Invite them to church if you are involved in a faith based program. Encourage them to extend your Bible lessons at home. As you become more comfortable in your ministry, don’t be surprised to find yourself visiting your students in their homes or having their families to your home. You may find yourself helping families find resources for their problems or accompanying them to stressful events. Only God knows where your ministry will lead you.
I do know from decades of personal experience a teaching ministry can be frustrating, exhausting and depressing at times. It can also be the most fulfilling thing you ever do. You see, when you give yourself in complete service to God – reflecting His love, serving others and actively sharing your faith – you are living the life God wants for all of us. In my opinion, it’s the best possible life we can live on this fallen earth. So take a deep breath, say a prayer and accept the challenge of turning your “volunteer” work into your ministry. It may just change your life.