Leading When You Cannot Speak

As we draw closer to the return of Christ, it becomes more and more urgent for us as a people to reflect the character of Christ in everything that we do.

North American May 16, 2019

As we draw closer to the return of Christ, it becomes more and more urgent for us as a people to reflect the character of Christ in everything that we do. Not as mere reflectors of men’s thoughts, but as free moral beings reflecting the image of Christ, having the mind of Christ.

But how can one accomplish this? Let us examine this point further. We have been comforted by Christ who has reminded us that “All power is given unto Him in heaven and on earth.” Called to, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Certified by Him to, “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded us,” and have companionship with Christ, as He reminds us that, “He is with us always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 18-20, KJV, emphasis provided). So what am I afraid of? — The unknown!

We have nothing to fear, however, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). This, I did not fully embrace, until after six weeks into my new assignment as the grade eight homeroom teacher. It was only then that I realized that the Lord had called me to fill this very important role, in helping to mold the minds of those whom I came in contact with, especially those entrusted within my care.

During my interview earlier that year, I was told that I would be getting a quiet class. Upon meeting them, however, I discovered that I had an eclectic mix of students who could not speak, would not speak, and who seldom spoke. This presented a unique challenge for me. Looking back, I often wonder why I did not find a solution sooner, rather than later. However, I believe that everything was based on God’s timing.

The breakthrough came during the Encounter Bible lesson after their group presentation on Patriarchs – A Call to Covenant. I realized in the moments following their presentation that by their silence, the class was, in fact, declaring, “I cannot speak, so what can I do for Him?” Silence should not be misunderstood as ignorance, in fact, the opposite is true. “A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness” (Proverbs 12:23, KJV). From this point onwards, I sought to find other ways to engage and involve my students. By the time we got to Unit 8.3: Moses – A Call to Lead, my students were already assuming leadership roles within the class each day, all throughout the Bible Encounter curriculum.

For the weeks that followed, students worked together to facilitate a program in class, similar to an evangelistic meeting. Here, they were each assigned a specific duty, whether it was to lead out in song service, deliver the scripture reading, execute the prayer, introduce the guest speaker or offer the vote of thanks. A quiz was also taken during the class session.

We are all called to be disciples for Christ, and we must at this time in Earth’s history embrace a shift in our modus operandi. “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world” (Ellen G. White, Education, p. 271).

Next, we plan on enacting a live presentation of the Sanctuary in the main church, and then this group of enthusiastic students will go out into the community to deliver books, door to door.


B.Ed.,Grade 8 Teacher. Presently employed at College Park Elementary School, Canada. Started is teaching career in 1993 with the Ministry of Education in Jamaica, and served as the Head of Department for Science as well as Agriculture. Ian is a graduate of Laurentian and York University.

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