I have accomplished something I never thought I could do. I have taught three Bible classes in a Christian school for nine months. Another new chapter in the life and ministry of Arlyn Ubben.
I was thinking that in the last few years, I have nearly completed my work for my doctorate, I have learned about real estate and have shown that I can do that work, I have tackled the field of teaching with good success and I have continued to develop my preaching through pulpit supply opportunities. I guess this " old dog" is still learning a few new tricks.
I have taught ninth graders about the Bible: it's origin, inspiration, transmission, translation, preservation, etc. Then we spent three quarters studying how to study the Bible. We used the text Living By The Book by Hendricks, an excellent book for college students and seminary level readers, but a bit much for the ninth grade. I developed worksheets for the students to follow which gave them much success in working through the technical material. I then walked the students through Habakkuk, Daniel 1 and 2, Romans 12: 1-2; and James 1 and 2. We had a great time as most of these students had never sat down and studied the Bible on their own for more than a few minutes before this class began.
The second class was a class on doctrine, taught to 10th grade students. We covered the doctrines of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Satan, Demons, Angels, Heaven, Man, Sin and Salvation. This was a great class and we got to go fairly deep in some of these doctrines. I had one Korean girl (exchange student) come to Christ this year as a result of the exposure to the gospel in school.
The third class was a study of Acts, focused on the doctrine of the church and missions. We have just spent a whole quarter on missions and the students have had their eyes opened. What a sheltered group we have, who have no concept of what God is doing throughout the rest of the world in evangelization. I wove in the doctrine of the church throughout this study. We did biographical studies on an apostle, an early church pastor, and a missionary throughout the year. One of the girls in the class became a Christian in November. She is an exchange student from Taiwan.
These classes have developed within me a hunger to continue teaching in depth. My church instruction has always lacked accountability and structure because of the nature of the pulpit and the Sunday school class. You cannot give tests on sermons. I have learned how to hold students accountable. Now, I would like to have an opportunity in the local church to develop some kind of accountability so that we can better promote James 1:22 - be doers of the Word, not hearers only.
It has been a great year. I have had some positive student and parent feedback.
One great story. I have had a 9th grader who is an interesting fellow. He is eager to do his work and participate in class. I do not think that he is great in his academic career - I do not know his grade average. All year long he has showed an eagerness in class and has worked his hardest. I gave a rather lengthy final exam, and when I was grading it the other night, I discovered that he missed only one question on the whole thing - and he quoted his Scripture verses perfectly - and earned the highest grade in the class. I was so excited for him. Today I called and talked to his mom, to tell her what her son had accomplished. She was glad that he was able to finish well and there were tears in her voice as she was so pleased to hear of his work. It is moments like this that make teaching a thrill - especially when we get to peak in and see a few of the results in our lifetime.
Will I teach again? I am talking with the school about a contract for the fall, but I am also talking with several churches about pastoral ministry, so the Lord will direct my steps as He has in the past to the exact place where he wants me. I have absolutely loved teaching; I miss preaching. Margaret is hoping to be able to teach again next year, and so we wait on the Lord to put these desires of our heart together in a way that glorifies Him.