Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2021
Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 51 seconds.
Mr. Gene Hilgenberg, the area pastor for Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas, Western Arkansas, and Oklahoma, spoke via WebEx for the Living Education students on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Mr. Hilgenberg reminded the students in his assembly that they are preparing to be teachers. “That is our role in the Kingdom, if not now—to help others.” Yet teaching is more than just instruction. Mr. Hilgenberg said, “Our attitude is very important to God. How we think, what motivates and drives us comes from the heart.” God wants His servants to have a heart for teaching.
Great teachers love what they teach and who they teach.
Love what you’re teaching. Developing a deep, loving reverence for God’s way of life is essential to being a great teacher. To develop that love, Mr. Hilgenberg advised the students to study, pray, and devote themselves to learning God’s laws. “You cannot teach what you don’t know” was a lesson he learned after years of teaching at Crowder College as an Agriculture instructor. Also, a good example is powerful evidence that a teacher truly loves what they’re teaching—not to mention a compelling tool for teaching.
Great teachers control their hearts.
Love who you’re teaching. While great teachers should love their students, Mr. Hilgenberg said teachers should control their hearts. A teacher of God’s way cannot let their passions and feelings have free reign but are to refine their hearts to “love the sinner and not the sin,” as the proverbial saying goes. Mr. Hilgenberg explained, “Christ treats us like lambs. He cares for us, and He loves us.” Just as Christ treats His servants like a shepherd tending his lambs, great teachers show compassion and caring to their students.
Prepare Your Heart.
Mr. Hilgenberg encouraged the students to take advantage of Living Ed to prepare to teach in their families, communities, and church areas. “You’re able to develop those leadership traits to go back and serve in your local congregations.” Yet, God’s servant’s future teaching role is that of a teacher’s in the Kingdom of God. Just as Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach,” (Ezra 7:10) Mr. Hilgenberg encouraged the students to develop the heart of a teacher.
This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.