The Great Pedagogy

Christians have been talking a lot lately. We’ve got much to say about race, marriage, forgiveness, justice, love…

And we grip the podium with confidence that God has called us there. The Bible says we are in this broken world to share His Good News to the nations.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. ” Matthew 28:19-20

Got it, God, we say with an understanding wink. Those poor, lost souls around the world are counting on us.

We Christians take our Great Commission Seriously. It’s a big job. But then again… we’re kind of a big deal.

However, when we finally take a recess, humility whispers a hard truth: our teaching is flat and we’re having little to no impact.

Humility also reminds us that God doesn’t need us. He can raise up stones from the ground to praise His name. Even the skies proclaim His work.

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:40.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1)

He’s given us a job that a rock can do. Maybe we’re not supposed to feel like such a big deal…

Better Rocks

But still, He invites us to join Him in kingdom work. He sends out the broken and weak with a critical message of life and death. He commands even the red-faced, puffed-up people to teach others about sacrificial love, life through death, grief with hope, and grace.

Maybe we should leave it to the rocks after all…

But as an educator, I get it. It’s a very effective teaching strategy. When my students are really struggling to learn something, I ask them to teach it to another.

“There is no better way to learn than to teach.”  B. Whichcote

And the real power of the lesson comes when their poor teaching reveals the gaps in their learning. The real schooling begins when they know that they don’t know.

Maybe God gives us The Great Commission because we have much to learn. 

God knows that I’ll deepen my understanding of the truth when I must put it in my own words. He’s sure that I’ll grow in wisdom and humility when I try to illustrate the gospel with my own life.

But the God of all creation is not wringing His hands when I stumble over my words or trip over my testimony. For my Teacher knows when I’ve loosened my grip on the podium, I’m humble enough to listen and learn.

The world just might take notice when Christians are willing to circle back for more learning.

The lost just might follow us when we step down from the podium and walk the road of repentance. road

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.” Romans 10: 15

God planned for His strength to be revealed in the weakness. 

The gospel is designed to advance in the circle-backs. 

His commissioners are great only when they’re willing to walk the lowliest of roads. 

It’s a perfect pedagogy for an upside-down kingdom. It’s the right lesson plan for grace.

So go ahead saints, take your charge and go tell it on the mountain. But don’t forget that good teachers are lifelong learners.

And the best teachers stoop to listen to the truth of the stones.

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10 thoughts on “The Great Pedagogy

  1. Lizzy July 10, 2015 / 5:10 am

    brilliant thoughts there, especially about teaching

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele Morin July 10, 2015 / 6:37 am

    Stunning truth.
    I especially love the fact that you mentioned our best way of learning — teach it to someone else. I admit it! Most of what I know about the New Testament, I know because of teaching it to kids! Great shot in the arm for me as I prepare for summer daycamp ministry! Thank you!


  3. Being Woven July 10, 2015 / 9:33 am

    This is a power-packed post! I teach children and I know that what you are saying is so true. Years ago, I was teaching a K-1 in an inner city. I had a rough class and so did others. I got one of the worst 4th grade boys to come to my class every day for one hour. He taught my worst by teaching them the alphabet and then putting those letters together into words. That was his 4th grade top ability, but he could teach my K-1 kids what he knew. Through this, he gained some confidence in himself to be able to begin learning more to begin catching up to his own level. The kids loved it and so did the teachers!

    Thank you for reminding me that I must sit at the Lord’s feet in order to learn and learn and learn.


  4. Donna Reidland July 10, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    What a wonderful post. I loved the thoughts that we are doing what rocks could do and the power teaching has on our learning. I am a biblical counselor. When I teach a new principle to my counselees, I often tell them to go home and study the concept so they can come back the next week and teach it to me. Thanks for sharing.


  5. betsydecruz July 12, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Karen, I love the thought that we’re not such hot stuff after all since we’re being given a job than even a rock can do. You are funny, and deep, and wise! When I came to Turkey 14 years ago, I thought it was because I had a message to share (and I do) but now I realize it was because God wanted to do a work in ME. He’s done more IN ME here than through me. Definitely.


  6. Molly July 12, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    I just keep reading this over and over…


  7. Joanne Norton July 12, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    Love your photos and how you shared the Word, how you shared Him. Thank you! Sure loved the pictures!!!


  8. Ifeoma Samuel July 14, 2015 / 11:53 am

    I am loving this. Teach others you will learn more along the way.
    I would start with the little ones.
    Thanks for sharing this truth.
    God bless you


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