For those of us in sports ministry, we know that teaching and training is a part of the job. Unfortunately though, it’s the part of the job that often lags behind the logistical and administrative demands of the job. I came across this blog today at the Gospel Coalition about teaching and thought it was applicable to the sports ministry world. Below are a few excerpts on from the article:
Similarly, in order to be a good teacher, you don’t have to be a Christian. But you must model Christian principles. For Christianity is not just a religion, or some compartmentalized facet of existence. Rather, it testifies to reality itself, the true nature of all that exists. So when we teach according to Christ’s example, we teach more effectively. As such, we shouldn’t be surprised when sincere secular sources echo biblical assertions. For instance, in the book What the Best College Teachers Do, Ken Bain concludes after much observation, research, and analysis that humility is crucial to good teaching. He found that unsuccessful teachers trade this trait for arrogance and pride. They desire to be “the star of the show,” working to impress students with their expertise and knowledge, all the while instilling in students a sense of insecurity at their own informational deficit. Ultimately this constructs a hierarchy of subservience with the teacher on the top and the students on the bottom, a comprehensive contrast to the model of Christ but quite in line with that of Pharisees.
This approach suffers one of the greatest miseries of pride, crippling the faculty for joy. For such pride desires nothing in and of itself, but only the admiration that possessing some coveted thing will bring. Teachers of this sort forfeit the love of learning for the love of being learned. They cannot impart love of the subject matter to the students entrusted to their care, for they themselves have lost it.
On the other hand, here is Bain’s composite picture of successful professor:
With that trust and openness came an unabashed and frequently expressed sense of awe and curiosity about life, and that too affected the relationships that emerged. It appeared most frequently and prominently in people who had a sense of humility about themselves and their own learning. They might realize what they knew and even that their own knowledge was far greater than that of their students, but they also understood how much they didn’t know and that in the great scheme of things their own accomplishments placed them relatively close to their students.