Teach Me

The warmth of the sun blanketed our backs as we walked through Old Towne back to the main office. Laughter filled the air and was swept away with the cool breeze. We were very thankful for the cool breeze, because we had just finished 2 tiring hours riding horses! I had 3 select girls attending a new volunteer development program – SEP (Surpassing Excellency Program). Every week we spend 2.5 hours together studying God’s Word, doing a chore, and cross-training around the Ranch. The girls in this program are my session kids that are taking their faith as their own and desiring to serve God in one way or another. SEP is just a fancy name for discipleship, with a Ranch theme.

As we were walking back, one of my girls grabbed my attention. She is 12-years-old, but her height makes her look at least 14. She is mature for her age, so much so, that I am thankful when I see some immaturity out of her. She is only 12!

“Hey, I wanted to ask you a question…”

“What’s that?’ I replied.

“You know how you teach me things?”

“Yes,”

“I want to learn how to teach like you do with me.”

Wow. I’ll be honest, that question caught me a little off guard! I asked her a few questions so I could get a little better idea of what she’s going for. “Do you want to focus on evangelism… or theology… or just simply how to teach?”

“I want to learn how to explain things without being awkward. Things in the bible like you do.”

“Well, how about we talk about that this week during our session.” (Sessions are our one-on-one mentorship time at the Ranch – our main ministry. SEP is an extension for some of my girls beyond sessions).

“Okay!” She happily exclaimed. We made it to the main office, ended the time with prayer, and the girls went home with their respective parents.

A few days later, after bouncing ideas with other CVYR staff/volunteers on how to teach my girl how to teach, we sat down for our session.

“So,” I started, “remember how you said you wanted to learn how to teach?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“People can teach something well when they know it inside and out. They study it, they practice it, then they teach it. When I teach Ephesians in SEP, its after I pray, study it on my own, then read trustworthy commentaries and take notes. I was thinking that maybe you wanted to pick a piece of scripture, and study it for the next two weeks, and come back and teach me about it during our next session.”

“That’s a great idea!” she replied.

We came back to our one-on-one session 2 weeks later, and we sat down at the large table in the discipleship room. She giggled as she started the session, proudly setting her bible and notes in front of her.

“Let me take attendance.” She exclaimed, trying to hide a grin. “Jazmine?”

I laughed. “Here!” I said, shooting my arm straight up into the air.

“Invisible Bob… Invisible Bob? I guess he didn’t make it today.”

I laughed again.

“Alright! Let’s get started. Let’s turn to Matthew 26 and 27.”

She continued to teach me on the difference of feeling “bad” or “sorry” versus true biblical repentance and accepting God’s forgiveness, using the examples of Judas and Peter. Without going into much detail, she did a great job. But she noted something that I would have never thought of before.

“You see how in Matthew 26:20-25, when Jesus foretold Judas’ betrayal? It reminds me of my brother. He is always getting into trouble. When mom comes in and asks who did something, we all say its not us. My brother is the last to respond, then he says it wasn’t him. My brother didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t say it wasn’t him. He would rather just stay quiet, but because everyone else said it wasn’t them, he doesn’t want to look obvious by being the only one not replying. He doesn’t want to stand out by staying quiet. That’s a lot like Judas. He asked ‘is it I,’ last in verse 25 because everyone else asked the same question ‘one after another’ in verse 22. I’m not saying my brother is evil like Judas, but the reasoning for responding in such a way may have been the same.” She explained.

She made such an interesting behavioral/psychological observation from the scripture that I probably would have never seen before. This girl is a great example of 1 Timothy 4:12.

I continue to be reminded that there is so much to learn. I absolutely love being a student, regardless of the age of the teacher! I am so excited to be a student for the rest of my life.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

                                                                                  1 Timothy 4:12

Jazmine Shannon

Jazmine Shannon