A Teacher’s Dream: Teachable Attitudes
I was more than a bit nervous. I’m not normally a teacher. My primary work is editing and sometimes contributing as a writer. To make it worse, the “students” were very different than me. The majority were low-educated farmers who minister voluntarily. After observing their diligence and tenacity to learn how to better pastor their flocks, I was really impressed. Though I was far more educated than them, I could not help but declare, “All of you are my teachers in terms of having such a great teachable attitude.” It was my first time teaching them and I never imagined being so deeply impressed and greatly encouraged by this group of 55 trainees.
Brother Li, about age 60, is a typical example of having a teachable attitude. At the training last year in May 2018, he apologized for not learning the previous course well. He was referring to Bible Study Skills 1. It was difficult for him to absorb due to his low educational level. He assured us that when he returned home, he would study hard to finish the assignment on analyzing the whole book of Philippians verse by verse and paragraph by paragraph. It was a huge assignment indeed. However, his enthusiasm did not waver and he worked hard to finish his assignments.
Six months later, no one would have guessed Brother Li would be recognized for his outstanding homework on Philippians. Unsure just how to begin, he decided to use our course manual as a dictionary, searching for the relevant skills to study Philippians. At first, the process was very slow, but eventually it became faster and easier as he began to catch on to the study skills.
In March, 2019, when we met him again, Brother Li conveyed his gratitude to us. Though he had read the book of Philippians many times before studying our courses, he did not understand it. But he understands it now. It is so gratifying to see him and other students growing as confident, unashamed workmen, “who correctly handle the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Pray that more volunteers like Brother Li will learn the skills to prepare sermons from His word with courage and clarity.
Brother Li doesn’t know this, but I am one of the co-writers of the Bible Study Skillscourses. Hearing his feedback and seeing his extensive homework is wonderfully encouraging news to me. It confirms to me that it is worth all the effort that goes into preparing materials for people like him. For volunteer pastors like Brother Li, the Truth has become much clearer.