Thursday, August 27, 2009

Have Fun While You Teach

I've been coaching two Bible teachers who are at the edge of burnout. They're extremely talented, have a long history of effective ministry, and yet...they're bored, angry, hurt, and worn out.

Would you like to hear the advice I gave them? It might sound wacky to you.

Here is it:

Have fun with your teaching. Stop looking at it as a duty, as work, as something heavy and overwhelming. Aim for joy in teaching.

The best Bible teachers, in my observation, have a lot of fun as they're teaching. They're enjoying themselves. And their students respond to this as well. I'm not saying that they're entertaining just to be entertaining, or softening the truth of the message. But you can see it in their faces how much they're enjoying the ministry.

I read recently about the Tarahumara runners in Mexico -- who routinely run many miles, even long than 24 hours. Their focus? The enjoyment of running:

"The Tarahumara don’t train for peak performance. They don’t wear high-tech running shoes. They don’t optimize their diet – more often than not, they smoke and pound corn beer minutes before the “race” begins. They aren’t “in it to win it” – there’s a bit of friendly competitiveness, but hard-core competition is unheard of.

The Tarahumara simply start running, and by the time they stop, several hours (or days) have passed and they’re tens (or hundreds) of miles from where they started. It’s not uncommon for them to run the equivalent of several marathons back-to-back, take a break, then go for another run.

The Tarahumara don’t do a lot of things, but what they do is essential: they just relax and enjoy the feel of moving." -- from a blog post by Josh Kaufman

What can you do this week to focus more on the enjoyment factor as you prepare lessons and deliver them? Relax and feel the Holy Spirit moving.

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