The excellent call of teachers

Do you remember that teacher you had in school who inspired you to do more than you ever thought possible? Those times Mrs. Richards so captivated your interest in a subject that you labored for hours and hours on a class project? Or when Mr. White pushed you to grow in such a way that looking back now you are actually quite grateful for his commitment to your development?

These glimpses from our own lives of excellent teachers resound deeply within us as a witness to the great importance of gifted and called educators. God has uniquely wired a specific portion of the world to teach and equip the next generation of humanity. These individuals take on the task of training the world’s youth for mankind’s duty to cultivate the earth and promote human flourishing. Civilization is dependent upon these teachers ability to prepare the next generation to thrive in their responsibility for this cultural mandate.

Genesis 1.28 ESV “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

People called to be teachers can engage in this hugely significant vocation with authenticity in their unique design.

Teaching Overseas

When is a teacher not a teacher?

A common trend in missions is for people to move overseas and become English teachers. God has opened doors to very difficult and unreached countries because of the world’s desire to speak English. Unfortunately, we see people who are burdened to serve the lost who see teaching as their only outlet to get plugged into a country. It’s so strategic how can we pass it up right??? These people sometimes decide that even though they don’t enjoy teaching they need be a teacher in order to work in strategic locations for the sake of the gospel. In this scenario a person may technically oversee a classroom but we would argue they are not truly a teacher.

We approach dangerous territory when people who are not designed by God to be educators force themselves into this role. A mismatch of personal design and vocation will lead to dissonance in life that over time can cause serious problems.
Instead, consider the fact that God made you good at different things for a reason. Some he made to be teachers and others he made to be nurses, business people or pastors. When we walk in the fullness of our God-given design we will be the most effective for the Kingdom of God. We will see the most impact because we have submitted ourselves to God’s plan instead of our limited understanding of what the world needs.

Teaching Overseas

Implications

It’s about your design: You are free from having to force yourself into the teaching mold in order to work in difficult places overseas. Instead you should seek to uncover your true God-given skills and passions and pursue them wholeheartedly in the context where you feel called.

An incredible open door: If you feel called by God to be a teacher you can readily access nearly any country in the world. God is using teachers to transform nations in the name of Jesus and you are invited to take part.
Significant influence: Educators have the opportunity to shape a rising generation of potential Christ followers in unreached places around the globe. The voice of influence a teacher commands in the classroom effects society in a major way. Redemption in this sphere of society will result in major kingdom impact.
Teaching for a season: God may call you to use teaching as a stepping stone in pursuit of your more specific calling. We should be quick to embrace this journey while keeping our eyes actively set on our vocational goals.

Teaching Overseas

How to Respond

I know I’m called to be a teacher: Consider strategically using your gift in education to impact unreached people groups. You may need a short season of further equipping to be effective in a new context. Forefront Experience offers the ability to refine your calling to education and get trained in ministry skills through the lens of being a teacher. For some people this is a great value add while others may feel led to start teaching right away on their own.

I’m definitely not a teacher: Understanding this is a huge step for you in discovering your calling. Take some time to explore what your unique design is informing you to pursue as your vocation. Forefront Experience has opportunities available for any vocation even if have no idea what you want to do. We can offer a safe environment covered in coaching, training and community to help figure it out how to use your skills to reach for the unreached. Be encouraged that you were designed on purpose and God wants to use everything He has given you for His glory among all nations. Your role is vital.
I’m not sure if teaching is for me: Understanding your calling can be a confusing journey. Trying out teaching for season or shadowing someone is a great way to get exposure in this area. Experience coupled with prayer and Bible study will lead to clarity in understanding if teaching is a fit you. Forefront Experience allows participants to come overseas with a general interest in teaching yet provides flexibility to pursue different vocations as God directs through the intensive first semester of uncovering your God-given specific purpose.

Teaching Overseas