Leadership #3, Call Yourself a Teacher - Bottom of the Ninth #141

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Bottom of the 9th - Call Yourself a Teacher

"Call Yourself a Teacher" John Wooden's Leadership Lesson #3 by Keith Wahl

John Wooden wrote 12 Leadership Lessons that enhance our understandings of leadership and success. These 12 lessons will be the focus of Bottom of the Ninth for 12 weeks.

During the early part of my career, I compartmentalized teaching and coaching. When I was in the classroom, I was teaching. But when I went to the field or court of play, I was coaching. It's almost like the clothes I was wearing would dictate a different set of behaviors. As I matured in the profession, I came to understand how valuable coaching was in the classroom and how valuable teaching was in the competitive arenas. No matter the clothes, I needed to answer the high call of being a teacher. That word encompassed all that I was called to do.

If you're going to be a leader of people, you have no choice but to call yourself a teacher. Leaders help people improve. Leaders invest their time in people. Leaders empower those around them to be better than they ever imagined they could be. I recently heard someone say that their "reality overwhelmed their dreams." A leader, a teacher, helped encourage them to get to that place.

Biblically, those who choose to teach face severe warnings and careful consideration. Consider these two verses:

Matthew 18:6-7, "“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!"

James 3:1-2, "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check."

Eek. Don't make the little ones stumble as it would be better to take this heavy rock, put it around your neck, and jump into a large body of water. Not many of you should become teachers because you're judged more strictly. Let's see, heavy rocks, drowning, and a more harsh judgement? Sign me up! (sarcasm noted) Thankfully we have a forgiving God full of grace and mercy who forgives as soon as we ask!

We all have a call to be a teacher in whatever context life has us. We must take the guidance, encouragement, and empowerment of those around us even more seriously. We've all been called to be teachers - teachers of the Word of God, and the reconciliation of a sinful people to a Holy God. We should take the burdens of the world off of our shoulders and keep our focus on the Cross. When we do, our teaching walks in line with the teachings of Christ, the Holy Son of God.

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