BOOKREVIEW: TEACHER: THE HENRIETTA MEARS STORY
Firstand Last Name
HenriettaMears accepted Christ at a very tender age, and when she was 12, shestarted teaching Sunday school. From that moment, Henrietta neverlooked back, and it became more and clearer to her that teaching washer gift. While at the University of Minnesota, Henrietta became thesuperintendent of her church. After completing her secondaryeducation, Henrietta taught many things, from chemistry to drama inhigh schools in different parts of Minnesota1.At one time, she even served as a principal in a high school, but inall these cases she found the church as an important institution inher development as an upright and all round Christian2.
Asa teacher in Sunday schools, she always made the Bible come alive toall her audience and students. Her capability to quote passages ofthe Bible from memory displayed dedication to God’s word and herdisciplined focus. Mears’s life is a splendid display of what anindividual and more particularly Christians can do to make the worlda better place. She demonstrates that all that is required is totalcommitment, and to put our life in the hands of the creator, so thatwe can manage to make His will our will. Even though Mears wanted totravel to China, as it turned out God had a different plan for her3.She was called to teach and train leaders and to nurture thespiritual development of thousands of people who could serve asChrist disciples and penetrate the globe with the word of God.
Oneof Mears’s landmark achievements is developing the Sunday school inCalifornia, where she served as the director of Christian Education.Within a short time she was able to transform a small congregation of400 to 65004.She also founded the Forest Home Christian Conference Center, whichhas helped many people in the world in diverse ways.
Pathto Success in God’s Ministry
Thisbook shows the secrets of Mears’s spiritual journey and success. Itreveals the principles that she learned and that can be used by allChristians in their work. From Mears’s fruitful life, it is evidentthat Christians should be ready and willing to listen to and abide byGod’s will, and be meticulous when following the desires of theheart. It is also important to note that Mears’s teaches us that weshould not expect certain conditions so as to start God’s Ministry.From whatever position and place, God will lead us if we trust andbelieve in His word. Mears affable spirit, commitment, and devotionfor simple gospel, and her in-depth knowledge of the scriptures havean incessant encouragement to me. She states that:
“Theearly less than great times in our lives are the training ground fordeveloping character, strength, and perseverance- for developingresilience and good decision-making ability”5.
Thisstatement echoes Mears incessant belief that we should not spend timecomplaining about our challenging environment but instead we shouldtake it as an opportunity that prepares us both psychologically andphysically for our duty as leaders, teachers, and God’s disciples.Mears also teaches that great things do not happen out of nowhere andnor do they bud immediately. It takes time and effort to attain ourobjectives.
“TheLord does most of the waiting, waiting for us to get up and getgoing. How can the Lord stop you if you haven’t started? And howcan He change your direction if you aren’t moving but are juststanding still? You can’t steer a car that is standing at the curb.Even if you move the steering wheel, nothing happens. ……….Beforeyou can guide a car, it has to be moving. So only when we’re movingcan the Lord direct us. He can stop us, or let us go on, or changethe course.6”
Itis evident that Mears was conscious of the fact that many Christiansare loath to spread the gospel and do the will of God for fear ofreprisal, failure, lack of conviction, willpower and faith. Thisstatement is a clear demonstration that it is important for us tobegin our mission regardless of the prevailing situation and let Godsteer us in the right direction. Total faith and dedication to theministry of Christ means that we should never allow world desires andmission cloud our judgment and prevent us from pursuing that whichour Father in heaven wants from us. The ministry of God mustsupersede all our other endeavors if we want to be role models and tohelp other Christians in their life. Mears severed her relationshipfrom two young men because doing otherwise would have compromised herstance in the eyes of the followers, even though it is evident thatshe longed for a lifetime partner.
Mearsrightly states that:
“KnowingGod’s will is literally a matter of yielding ourselves to Christand thinking God’s thoughts after Him7“
Thisis perhaps the most inspiring words that provide Christians with thesimplest path to knowing God’s will. It can never be closer to thetruth than that, for no matter the plans in our hearts and mind,God’s purpose will always prevail. Mears provide a succinctdefinition of what a true minister of God should strive to attain andthe path to knowing and doing God’s will, for it is not words butactions that send the strongest message.
How Mears Story impacts my ministry
Afterreading her story I feel challenged and inspired to do great thingsfor God and human. Though her I can see the exhilarating things thatGod can do through the life of a person who is entirely devoted toGod. Her faith and courage is huge inspiration to me to continueworking to build a strong ministry that helps everyone come closer toGod and discover their talent. Mears story is very helpful in myspiritual journey. It is refreshingly honest about the challengesChristian encounter in life it is sturdily biblical, honorablycandid and sincerely pastoral. Mears is an outstanding example ofleadership, of remaining relevant, modest and always pursuing God.The key lesson in my ministry is that whatever the environment,people, or the time I should always be ready to execute God’s will.
Brotherton,Marcus. Teacher:The Henrietta Mears Story. Ventura, Calif:Regal Books, 2006.
1 Brotherton, Marcus. Teacher: The Henrietta Mears Story. Ventura, Calif: Regal Books, 2006, p.46
3 Brotherton, p.56
4 Brotherton, Marcus. Teacher: The Henrietta Mears Story. Ventura, Calif: Regal Books, 2006, p.64
5 Brotherton, p.45
6 Brotherton, Marcus. Teacher: The Henrietta Mears Story. Ventura, Calif: Regal Books, 2006, Pp. 60-61
7 Brotherton, p.58