Monday, April 25, 2011

Do What You Do

This last week in the Ephesians class at First B, we discussed the first half of chapter 4. Verses 11 and 12a say "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service..." Recently at First B, we've been talking a lot about spiritual gifts and how every Christian has a spiritual gift and how everyone should use their spiritual gift.

One problem that a lot of churches have is that they need someone to fill a position so people step in because no one else will. So what's the big deal? The problem is when they step in with no real gift in that area. You end up having a whole bunch of people serving in the wrong place. It's the equivalent to placing a body's eyeballs where the feet are supposed to be. It doesn't work. God has given us unique gifts so we can all serve him uniquely in our own way. He has also given us unique passions that we should pursue in order to magnify God. I think that is one of the most beautiful things about the church and it really gets wasted when people feel forced to serve in areas they don't care about or are not gifted in.

Last Sunday I asked the class, "What are your gifts and what are your passions? How can you use them to serve God?" The first ones that came to mind for me were teaching, math, and physics. So I had to ask myself, "Am I using my gifts and passions to honor God in a way that really gets me excited about serving Him?"

Recently it seems like God has really been calling me to teach high school math and/or science. I think I'm gifted in teaching and I have a strong passion for math and science, so it fits. Since I moved into my new place in Denver, I've learned a lot. One thing I've learned is how much influence adults have on kids. It is tragic how much a bad parent can damage their kids and it is inspiring how the good ones have such a positive influence on their kids lives. As far as non-family members go, teachers have a pretty strong influence on the kids in their classes. It's hard for me to picture exactly what teaching will be like, but I definitely want to make a difference in people's lives and I think I could do a good job doing that in a high school.

I've always been interested in teaching. In high school I helped friends with homework and tutored one girl for pay. I had an enormous sense of satisfaction from doing that, so I knew I would enjoy teaching. Pursuing teaching seemed kind of dumb to me at the time. It seemed like it was just promoting an academic cycle where people go to school, then teach kids that go to school, who go on to teach other kids... I felt like I had to help society "progress" by helping develop technology and expanding scientific understanding. My thinking evolved though. School is much more than learning factual knowledge. There is a lot of character development that happens in school. So teaching can lead to much greater things than just a bunch of engineers, businessmen, and accountants. It can lead to training students to have a wonderful influence on others.

I also knew that teachers don't get paid much. The ole' School of Mines made sure I got out of there with no less than tens of thousands of dollars of debt. This much debt leads to very high monthly payments. I thought that I wouldn't be able to afford a high school teaching job because of my loan payments. Well I was fortunate enough to score an awesome job doing research at Mines for a pretty small amount of money. I realized that I could do this. I could have a low paying job and still make all my payments. That eliminated my financial worries with teaching high school.

All my concerns cleared up and I realized that I can do this. So I am pursuing a career in teaching high school math (and maybe science in the future). God has given me gifts and passions in this area and it's hard to predict what it will be like, but it's an adventure I'm excited to jump into.


  1. You should follow up and right a post about exactly why you don't want to go in with the cert for teaching science too.