Thoughts from the Pastor

Teaching: A Spiritual Gift

Several times throughout the Epistles we find lists of spiritual gifts that Paul lifts in recognition. Often these lists are accompanied by Paul’s metaphor for the church as the “body.” The point Paul is trying to make is that we each have unique gifts and callings that add beauty and depth to the body of Christ. However, I do find it interesting, and I do not think it is accidental that Paul lifts up teaching alongside callings like ministry and prophecy.

During Paul’s time there was not a public education system like we have now in modern America and yet Paul seems to recognize that certain individuals had the unique gift of teaching. In Paul’s context this probably centered mostly around the ability to teach scripture or matters of faith and yet I think it is appropriate to stretch Paul’s understanding to teachers of all kinds today. The role of teachers in our society today goes beyond simple edification, their influence runs much deeper.

I am perhaps biased being married to a teacher, but our congregation is blessed to have several current and former educators as members and attendees. The more teachers I get to know the more I am convinced that it is a unique calling that continues to be underappreciated.  Teachers are more than experts in their subject matter, they often serve as mentors, encouragers, and counselors. They care deeply for their students and are constantly adapting to help the unique individuals who walk into their classroom every year.

The public teachers in our congregation are not teaching their students scripture or leading them in prayer, that is the role of the church and parents at home, and yet I truly believe that God is at work in our schools through the generosity, creativity, compassion, and kindness of our educators who are using their spiritual gift of teaching to better our world.

As a church we should honor and recognize the spiritual gifts of our educators in all moments but especially this year as educators navigate this new pandemic reality. Continue to check in on our teachers from Linville Creek as I have seen so many of you doing all ready. If you have children offer your grace and support to your children’s educators. Above all, I pray that the church and that educators themselves will view teaching as a spiritual gift. It is indeed a calling that has the power to transform our world and our children for the better. Thank you to the many educators from Linville Creek, may you find peace and joy even during an uncertain and difficult school year. Amen.                             ~ Pastor Nathan