Nervous But Trying: Teaching in Church is Hard For Me

A little nervous. I have to (I mean get to) teach again tomorrow. I often feel so inadequate, and frustrated when my thoughts cannot be put into words and thats when I just make comments, let alone teach. It’s something I have struggled with for a very long time.

When I was young, I knew all the answers. I have a pretty good memory and am able to regurgitate facts or information pretty easily. At a young age that is all that is required. As I got older, the questions got harder. There was more applying the knowledge then repeating it. I am ok at that too, but I’m slow. And often when I am put on the spot, I stutter, say the wrong thing, or never really get out what in my heart I know is really good. EVERYTHING sounds way better in my head. ALL. THE. TIME. Don’t believe me? Just try to have a conversation with me in front of people.

I had a great group of friends growing up, but often my comments were followed by “It’s all in the delivery AL” They weren’t trying to be mean, and I know that. In fact I laughed some of it off, but now over 20 years later. I would just rather sit quiet and never talk. After all it’s better to remain quiet then to remove all doubt. That’s sort of how the saying goes. Right?!

I long for the ability to be a great orator, but would that gift be for my glory or would it be for God’s? I’m afraid that I do enjoy the “praise of men” and I probably weak enough that I would start to think it was all me. I am ashamed to say that at times I have come very close to that. My pride does enjoy the stroking.

Maybe I am also nervous because I can be judgemental (I’m totally trying to work on that) and maybe others are as judgemental as I am when I am teaching. Just so you know my judgements aren’t thrown around all the time and not willy nilly. I really try to stay open minded and am really trying hard to be open to the fact that perhaps the spirit told them they needed to teach the lesson that way, despite the fact that I have prepared as a student and am ready for the lesson that was scheduled. Oh, I really need to work on my judgements. I am trying REALLY.

We also have a difficult class member. By difficult I don’t mean antagonistic or mean. They ask questions that I am not prepared for. Luckily there are others in the class that can support me, but often, I am a flustered and have a hard time wrapping my head around what they have asked. Then add the language barrier. It’s getting better but it’s hard and uncomfortable for me. Kind of like training for a marathon, for your brain.

I knew when I was called to be a Ward Missionary (also something way out of my comfort zone) that it would involve teaching, and my first thought was dread, but my next thought was this will be good practice. I know it will be good for me, but I just don’t like to do it. At least I’m trying that is half the battle.

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One thought on “Nervous But Trying: Teaching in Church is Hard For Me

  1. Knowing the pat answers to the carefully curated questions from the primary and YW manuals is not at all the same thing as knowing the answers to the curveball questions real people have. Don’t feel bad if you struggle to know how to answer, or if you don’t even know the answer. Start with, “that’s an excellent question” and open it up to the class. Whatever you do, don’t be the idiot who tries to pretend they know everything. Honesty, humility, and vulnerability are much more endearing and redeem you from a multitude of flaws. Hang in there — if you’re yourself you’ll be perfect.
    Good luck!!

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