Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Gift of Teaching?

Occasionally I'm asking if you need the spiritual gift of teaching to be an effective teacher.

Certainly teaching is among the spiritual gifts Paul mentions in Romans 12:4-8.

Here's my personal view: I do not think it is required, but I observe that it is unusual to find an excellent teacher who enjoys teaching who does not have the gift of teaching.

Let me explain. Consider this statement about mastery of a craft (and teaching is a craft, a practice that requires discipline over time):

"What creates someone who is a master of their craft? It's the combination of gifting, learning, and practice. The gifted person who is well practiced in their art makes it look easy." -- Terry Dean

So mastery requires gifting, how-to knowledge (or awareness), and practice over time.

The simple fact is that no one loves doing something that they aren't good at. And it's very difficult to excel at teaching if you haven't put in time and disciplined practice. You can get the job done, but you are doing just that -- without a love for the process and experience.

Many teachers feel drawn to teaching, but have not invested themselves to acquire knowledge about how to teach well. Or they lack practice. Those can be learned, acquired.

But the gift of teaching? It's not something that humanly speaking we can seek out and acquire. (That's why it's called a gift!)

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