Lesson #8 – Gift of Teaching
Let’s do a quick recap! In Lesson #7 we learned a little bit about the motivational gift of SERVICE. Sometimes we tend to think of the one with the gift of serving as less important than others who have speaking gifts. However, those with the gift of serving are just as spiritual in nature and as important as anyone in the church, or in business, or at home and in the community.
Think of where we would be without volunteers in the non-profit sector, including the churches across America. Churches depend on their memberships to take an active role in meeting the natural needs such as cleaning the church pews, cooking meals, cutting the grass, etc.
Servers are very fulfilled just doing their job and can work alone quite well. They are dependable, humble, and sweet natured. Just let me help, is the cry of their heart.
We learned that there are some wonderful traits that children with the gift of SERVICE have:
1. Children who exhibit the gift of serving are very practical.
2. They are observant, detailed.
3. They are happy being in the background.
4. Servers love to help around the house by completing practical tasks such as loading the dishwasher, dusting, sweeping, setting the table, raking the leaves, etc.
5. Do you sense someone is always following you around? Or do you frequently have a second set of hands working with you? If your child asks for jobs to help with, you are blessed with a true servant.
6. They are great imitators and like to do what mom or dad does.
7. Children who love to serve seem to never grow tired of helping.
8. Be sure not to ask your server child to speak publicly. Typically, they do not like to get up in front of others and speak.
9. Your sweet server can be quite ambitious, and will get involved in numerous activities at school, and they enjoy manual projects.
In This Lesson…
In this lesson we are going to learn more about the motivational gift of TEACHING.
Born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, Annie Sullivan was a gifted teacher best known for her work with Helen Keller, a deaf, blind, and mute child she taught to communicate. One of her famous quotes is, “Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.” The best-known portrayal of this story is in the Academy Award-winning film, The Miracle Worker.
At only 21 years of age, Sullivan showed great maturity and ingenuity in teaching Keller. She wanted to help Keller make associations between words and physical objects and worked hard with her rather stubborn and spoiled pupil. Thanks to Sullivan’s instruction, Keller learned nearly 600 words, most of her multiplication tables, and how to read Braille within a matter of months.
Despite the physical strain on her own limited sight, Sullivan helped Keller continue her studies at Radcliffe College in 1900. She spelled the contents of class lectures into Keller’s hand, and spent hours conveying information from textbooks to her. As a result, Keller became the first deaf-blind person to graduate from college. (Source: http://www.biography.com/people/anne-sullivan-9498826)
Purpose of the Gift of Teaching
Romans 12:7 – In spiritual work we understand that teaching is the logical, systematic presentation of truth so we grow in the understanding and knowledge of God and his kingdom. In life in general, teachers expound knowledge on any number of topics that help us navigate life and pursue our careers, our life’s work. The purpose of the motivational gift of teaching is to share knowledge with others to help them grow.
In the church the teacher keeps things in order and connects the scriptures of truth, keeping in proper perspective the balance and context of scriptures and doctrines. However, because one has a motivational gift of teaching, this does not mean that they will have a ministry gift to serve as a teacher. James 3:1 warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
The Greek word for those with the spiritual gift of teaching is didaskalos. From the root of this word we get our English word, “didactic.” The word didasko means to teach, instruct, instill doctrine, explain, and expound.
One with the motivation to teach might be described as someone that loves the truth and is not happy when it is misrepresented or taken out of context. This can apply to any facet of life. Truth is truth. Children with this gift are called “book worms” because they love to read and do research. They are described by their peers as, “Sarah is always correcting me” or “Jimmie is so smart”. Educators like the child gifted with the desire to share what they learn. They never miss class and are eager to learn, anything. Like Jesus who, “taught as one having authority”, this child is confident in the knowledge they learn and able to convey it to an audience they are speaking with whether it is an audience of one or one hundred. They love to give book reports in front of the class because that gives them a chance to share their knowledge.
Challenges With the Gift of Teaching
I adore these little teachers! They tend to want what they know to be conveyed accurately. Sometimes they come across as if they are neglecting the practical use of the word or the content. They can get overly concerned with too many details of a matter when sharing the information with their friends. For example, ask one of these children what kind of spider is in the web on the back porch. They will tell you the technical name of the banana spider (Cupiennius spiders) and then go into detail and instruct you to not remove the web because it takes so much nutrition from them to create the web, and then they could die if they try to build another one before they rebuild their nutrients.
That they have so much knowledge can make these children prideful, so watch for this and remind them of their gift, that it is from God. It’s easy for these children to measure others by what they do or do not know and then tend to judge them accordingly. They can sometimes be called know it alls because they are always sharing what they know even if not asked.
People often misunderstand these children and attempt to make them group leaders. This is especially true as they get older. Churches tend to place them in charge of Sunday school classes or encourage them to become pastors. This is not always good. Unless a child also has the ministry gift of pastor/shepherd they will not make a good pastor or even a good Sunday school teacher no matter how much they know. Their tendency will be to share knowledge rather than take care and concern for those they are leading. If they have the ministry gift of pastor, then this will work.
Development of the Gift of Teaching
Helping the child develop their motivational gift of teaching will not be difficult. They will automatically learn what they want to learn. The challenge will be, like that of the servant, to make sure they engage in kid things. These children tend to isolate themselves from others depending on how strong their gift is. If you notice this, make sure you help them stay engaged with children in social settings so they can experience life as a kid.
These children will need to understand how to listen. Since they are motivated to share what they know it is difficult for them to listen to others. They think what they know is all there is to know. Create some group times with several children and ask them to each take turns sharing something that interests them. Encourage your “teacher child” to listen and learn from other’s perspectives.
Though they want to learn, they may have a resistance to learn from their peers or others on related topics. It is important to help them develop a spirit of camaraderie with others more knowledgeable on the same topic. Enroll them in classes with like-minded individuals.
Help them work on developing tolerance for others’ mistakes