I’m realizing more and more that much of what I teach isn’t that which comes from my notes or words. It is what I do. Truly more is caught than taught.
For one thing, before I say a word they are greatly encouraged that Americans would come so far at such expense just to spend time with them. They are not forgotten people! They know we care or we wouldn’t have come. I can’t imagine how that must help them in their circumstances here.
Then, too, somehow God makes it so we bond with them. We connect. We aren’t high and mighty foreigners who come to straighten them out, we are one with them. We understand, we’ve been there and we care. In a country with a caste system this is rare. Even their own leading pastors seem distant and respected, but not personally involved. I’m told its what I say about myself and my own struggles, direct eye contact I give and a softness and approachableness that comes from me. Clearly it is God bringing this to be in this insecure introvert! But I’m glad of it. I don’t want to just leave content, I want to leave part of my heart. And its because of this that the content is all the more impressionable to them.
Also, they notice how I communicate and often express how much they like the way I teach and learn from it. Teaching in India is lecture and rote memorization of notes. That’s the way the British did it and it’s the way they still do it today. But I interact, act questions, add humor, use magic and illustrations, start with an introduction that gets their attention and develop one point after another without getting off subject and apply what I say directly to their needs. They notice these things and say they want to include them in their communication.
But this isn’t just me. You teach without teaching as well. Who is watching your life? Whom do you influence, even if you don’t think you do? What are people seeing when they watch your life?
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Who has influenced you by their life? Pray for them and thank them in person or by letter.
Pray for those who watch you that you would be a godly influence on them and they would see Jesus in you.