How do you tell if you have been called by God to teach? It's a hard thing to know, but hopefully my story will help you understand your own.
I had been saved all of one month when my home church voted me in as Sunday School teacher. The previous lady felt it was time to move on to other things in the church, and so the position was made available for anyone who desired it. The church nominated me; I did not nominate myself. Why not? I had been saved all of one month and did not think I was anywhere near qualified to teach.
Was I Unqualified?
Despite my lack of self-confidence, I had several things pointing me to a calling.
That last point may raise some questions. By no means am I saying that you have to have a degree to teach the Bible. Quite the contrary! You merely have to be able to understand the Bible. For me, that did not mean years and years of reading the Bible (I had been reading the Scriptures for maybe a year at the time). Instead, my qualification for understanding the Word came from a gift of consuming information and presenting it back with clarity. My degree is actually in philosophy, a main component of which is debate and quick assessments of thoughts and propositions.
These facts all point to the first clue that my calling was of God: I already possessed the skills necessary to teach.
Clues to My Calling
Having the skills for the job
If you've ever gone job hunting, then you know that along with each job posting is a list of necessary skills and expectations of duties. Once I
Being gifting for that job
As I began to teach, I realized that it came naturally. To me, teaching Sunday School is like writing a paper. I do the research, look at support materials if I need help understanding the subject, and then present my findings. It was like doing something I had done a thousand times before. I started to feel confident that God had called me because I began to realize God was giving me the ability to teach with ease. I didn't feel like He was towering over me, trying to get my attention to tell me that I was doing something wrong. Instead, I only felt encouragement and love when I prayed for my lessons.
Loving what I'm doing
A third affirmation that I was called to teach is the simple fact that I love it! When I am not teaching, I miss it. I can't imagine not teaching.
I pray often that God will put the desires in the heart (awk) of what He wants me to do. I do not trust myself to want what is best for me, for I am often distracted by what this person is doing or what that person has. Instead, I trust the Holy Spirit to change the desires of my heart to be in line with His will for my life. When I am filled with joy and satisfaction teaching the Word, I know that I am fulfilling God's will in my life, (no comma here; next sentence wouldn't begin with "that") and that peace in my soul is not something I can fabricate or force. True joy is unmistakable.
A forth and final reason that I feel called of God to teach is that I have seen fruit for my labor. To me, I Corinthians 3:5-15 is saying that if I am laboring after the wrong thing or in a place I do not belong, then my work will amount to nothing. But if I am laboring for God in the place in which He has called me, then God Himself will give the increase. Sure, I could have decided without the Lord to put together some Scripture and throw together some printouts, but it would not amount to anything. The class wouldn't be useful to anybody. That's why I knew that I was doing the right job when I saw growth and conviction in my students.
I didn't realize I was called to teach overnight. I hear of some people who have that "Ah, ha!" experience where God informs them of their mission, but as for me it took months of being a Sunday School teacher to realize just how much God could use me. I more or less eased into my calling, God calming each of my doubts one at a time.
So, I hope that my story has been a blessing to you. Hang in there, and teach the Word!