Almost 5000 teachers in more than 400 Adventist schools across the South Pacific are receiving copies of a new devotional book intended to “invigorate and enthuse each teacher to better reveal Jesus,” according to Dr David McClintock, director of Adventist Education for the South Pacific Division (SPD). Written by experienced Adventist educator Dr Trevor Lloyd, Listening in the Morning features 80 devotional readings for teachers and its launch coincides with the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first Adventist school.
“The readings are simple, relevant and provide excellent reflective questions to facilitate great discussion for school staff worships anywhere in the South Pacific,” explains Dr McClintock. “There was a perception that we needed to do all we can to boost the spiritual nurture of our teachers, who provide the first glimpse of God for many of our students.” Copies of this new book will also be provided to teaching staff and some education students at Pacific Adventist University, Fulton College and Avondale University.
Dr Lloyd says that the prompt for the book project came some years ago from then SPD Education director Dr Carol Tasker, but that the ideas, stories and reflections have been drawn from his more than 50 years “of thinking through the issues that face us as Christian parents and teachers.
“Of particular importance,” he adds, “were five or six years during the 1970s of lecturing at Avondale on the Philosophy of Christian Education.”
The title—“Listening in the Morning”—is taken from Isaiah 50:4, which Dr Lloyd describes as a “scintillating passage directly dedicated to spiritually-motivated teachers. There we read that the Lord Himself is waiting each morning to waken the ears of those who are called to teach and to make their ministry effective.” As the book manuscript developed, Dr Lloyd says he found “confirmation of the oneness of the teacher’s spiritual life and their teaching effectiveness.”
For Dr Lloyd, his book has a personal message for every Adventist teacher: “You matter. Your work counts,” he says. “You are the 21st-century counterpart of the teachers in the ancient schools of the prophets. Your top-rate work represents for the immediate Adventist community the high calling of more than 111,000 Adventist teachers worldwide. Your tuning in to God’s Spirit each morning is a qualification of utmost importance for this heaven-ordained ministry.”
Coming from a project in the South Pacific Division and published by Signs Publishing, work is underway to share this book with education leaders and teachers around the Adventist world. According to Dr McClintock, Listening in the Morning fits well with this milestone year in Adventist education. “This book captures our core business,” he reflects. “Our purpose in Adventist Education is to ‘Reveal Jesus.’ This book serves as a strong reminder to our teachers how we best do that—with our own personal connection to God strong first.”As well as being distributed in Adventist schools, Listening in the Morning is available now from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online.