This extended quotation is from Dr. Howard Hendricks in his book Teaching to Change Lives.
Years ago I took part in a Sunday school convention at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. During a lunch break, three of us who were teaching at the convention walked across the street to a little hamburger shop. The place was filled, but soon a table for four opened up. We saw an elderly lady whom we knew was attending the convention because of the bag she was carrying, and we asked her to join us.
We learned she was eighty-three and from a town in Michiganâ€™s Upper Peninsula. In a church with a Sunday school of only sixty-five people, she taught a class of thirteen junior-high boys. She had traveled by Greyhound bus all the way to Chicago the night before the convention. Why? In her words, â€œTo learn something that would make me a better teacher.â€
I thought at the time, â€œMost people who had a class of thirteen junior-high boys in a Sunday school of only sixty-five would be breaking their arms to pat themselves on the back: â€˜Who, me? Go to a Sunday school convention? I could teach it myself!â€™â€ But not this woman.
Eighty-four boys who sat under her teaching are now young men in full-time vocational ministry. Twenty-two are graduates of the seminary where I teach.
If you were to ask me the secret to this womanâ€™s impact, Iâ€™d give you a totally different answer today from what I would have said thirty years ago. Back then Iâ€™d have credited her methodology.
Now I believe it was because of her passion to communicate.
My heartâ€™s concern for you is that God will give you a passion like that . . . and never let it die.
And I hope you never get over the thrill that someone will actually listen to you and learn from you.