Sometimes I wonder how close I’ve come to getting smacked with a lightning bolt.
Confession: I used to be a Sunday school/bible study class snob. Not in a “I go all of the time so I’m better than you” way, but in a “I don’t need to go so I’m better than you” way. Ugly, right? I did mention that I am a minister, didn’t I? Yeah.
When I was four, my family started going to church and I was thrust headfirst into this thing called “Christianity”. This new world was weird, complicated, and we had to read a big book with words I didn’t understand. 1 Peter 2:2 says “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”. As a newbie, I needed stuff simplified: the milk. I didn’t get that. It was more like tough roast…or tree bark. Hardcore theology was shoved down my baby-Christian throat on a daily basis and I tried my best to swallow it. As if trying not to tear those flimsy pages wasn’t hard enough, now you want me to wrap my mind around “where the worms die not” and such??
What I couldn’t figure out through context, I pretended to understand because I’d rather die than ask a question. Ask a question…are you kidding?? NOBODY asked questions, not even the adults. Asking translated into rejecting God’s Word or well, questioning the Holy Spirit. So you HAD to “get it”. Anyone who needed extra help like Sunday school or bible study class simply wasn’t trying hard enough. Slacker.
Now you know why I was always checking for that lightning bolt.
Thankfully, God has a way of straightening out messed-up thinking. When I accepted the call to ministry in 2006, it was in teaching. Of course. By then, I’d experienced enough life to know that pretending to understand God’s Word wasn’t going to cut it – I really needed to know. The first step was accepting that I was not where I thought I should’ve been after over 30 years of “hearing” the Word preached. And guess what? God met me right there and opened my eyes to the power and goodness of His Word, one scripture at a time. I began studying like crazy. I read commentaries, devotionals, referenced concordances, I prayed – all in the quest to understand. It was through this season that I developed a love for learning and a desire to teach the simplicity of the Word: the milk.
For nine years, I ministered the Gospel from a pulpit and felt so out of place because preaching is not my jam – teaching is. So when I was asked to teach a weekly bible study last year, I jumped at the opportunity. Intimate, relatable teaching…maaan. I love it. The ah-ha moments, the look of relief when people realize that they haven’t totally messed up with God, the shared “okay, so I’m not the only one who didn’t get it” sighs, and the growth…unbelievable. And that’s just me. It has been amazing.
God has equipped me to teach the Word to people right where they are with a unique transparency. It doesn’t matter if you are a lifelong churchgoer or a newbie, God wants you to know the power of His Word and how it applies to you NOW.
Let’s “get it” together.