Why does the Church entrust teachers with the ministry of teaching? It’s Biblical!
Teachers are called, first of all, by God, through Jesus Christ. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20a
Through Jesus Christ, God has promised to be our constant companion in the task of teaching. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
When we were baptized into the household of God, we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls . . .” Acts 2:38-39
The Holy Spirit blesses those who teach, its “bearers,” with the fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 Many believe that teachers are given these gifts in double measure – God knows children and youth are the benefactors when teachers exercise these gifts.
Teachers commit themselves to being God’s saints: to showing their love for God by serving others – in this case, the children, youth, and adults who take part in Christian education. “[Jesus] took a little child and put the child among [the disciples]; and taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'” Mark 9:36-37
Teachers are members and friends of the church to fulfill the vows made at baptism – to teach and nurture and love those who are growing in the faith. These are the promises God’s people have made for generations. “God established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which God commanded our ancestors to teach their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep God’s commandments.” Psalm 78:5-7