I have found that it is much easier to preach to strangers than it is to teach strangers. Now for me neither is ideal, but it is much easier to prepare to present truths of the Bible from behind a podium than it is to teach those same truths to a group of people that I don’t know.
I have been thinking about this because this is my life for the next couple of weeks. Regular readers (are there any left) know that I am currently unemployed. What I haven’t talked about is that I am close to a new job. It is at a church in Kentucky and I will be in charge of the youth and children’s ministry there. This weekend is our big “in view of a call” weekend (to use the good Baptist phrase) so I am teaching in several different venues.
On top of that I am working with a church in our area as a sort of interim youth speaker to help them while they are transitioning from their former youth pastor. I am primarily just teaching their Wednesday night “large group” worship time.
But as I have been preparing for these things I keep thinking about how hard it is to teach people if you have no history with them. I know that there are some truths about teaching that are just “true” and those can be applied anywhere, but when you know someone, have lived with them for a while and taught them for a while you are able to know how to teach them, you know what they will respond to and how they will best take the truth of the Bible and apply it to their hearts.
Anyway, I went through the first lesson at the local (well, next county over local) church last night and I have to say that it was fun to teach again. I am a little rustier than I imagined I would be, but it felt good to be back up in front of students teaching them about the deep truths of God. There isn’t much like that.