One of the things I really like to do is to teach.  It doesn’t matter if it’s elementary students on a playground, or adults in a living room, or people in a college classroom; I love to take information, and hand it off to other people.  And I have learned that being a teacher who loves their subject doesn’t necessarily mean you can keep your students engaged.  In fact, it often means that I fall so much in love with the facts, figures, and minutia that I can make people’s eyes glaze over in about 20 seconds.
The worst part is that sometimes I get so passionate about tiny bits of information that if I’m not careful, I can completely miss the fact that my students, or my audience is not engaged.   That’s frightening when I consider that if I’m leading a small group, or directing an FX, or even talking to a group of volunteers, I’ve got to make sure that what I’m saying is important, and how I say it is engaging.
Now this is a challenge that comes up often in church world, and part of it is because the local church has asked for teachers to fill out its volunteer needs for centuries.  We have put teachers in front of congregations, in classrooms, and on buses for a long time and asked them to do what they do best.  Unfortunately, we haven’t always told them that being passionate about the subject isn’t enough.
Maybe it’s time for our culture to shift.   In an information age what is needed is not someone who loves imparting data, but someone who is more concerned that the information lands in a way that can be understood and integrated into daily life.  That’s relevance.  That’s relationship.  And sometimes that’s hard for teachers (like me) to do.