Writing Tutoring as Ministry
December 11, 2020
The biggest thing I have learned while working at the Writing Centre is that being a writing tutor is just another way to serve people and show them the love of God. God has blessed me with writing ability, and I have the opportunity to use my skills to further his kingdom. Typically, people might imagine furthering the kingdom as doing outreach work or being a missionary, but God uses all people in all fields to minister to others. In my job, I meet with people who are in all kinds of places emotionally—whether they are stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed—and as a writing tutor, I can help lift one of their burdens off their shoulders by helping them succeed in their courses. I once met with someone who broke down into tears because they felt they could not handle the assignment. I met with another person who was angry at their assumed inability to write an essay. And I met with another who admitted to me that they were dealing with depression. These three appointments stand out the most among the many that I have had. While one of these did not conclude on a good note, the other two—by the grace of God—did.
In one of these particular meetings, I arrived at the appointment not mentally prepared for what was to come. I was relatively calm, but when I joined the appointment and sensed the student’s anger, I was unsure as to how to maintain calm control of the appointment. The student talked for a while about how they do not have any writing training and that they’re embarrassed about it and have no idea how to do what the professor wanted. They even disagreed with the premises of the prompt. What this student didn’t know was that they actually had an innate writing ability and understanding of English grammar that they were unaware of. We made the smallest changes to their assignment, and I said, “You’re actually a lot better than you think you are. Look, we only needed to make these small changes.” They were surprised and encouraged. After working together on their assignment, I asked to pray with the student, and they said yes. I prayed that God would give them the strength and wisdom they would need to complete this degree. Afterward, we talked about God’s goodness and provision in our lives, and, in the end, I felt like I had made a friend. To be honest, I was having a bad day that day and talking with this student totally changed my mood as well. I met with the student a few times after this first meeting, and it’s been a joy to see them quickly improving and growing to understand how academic writing works. Essentially, my role as a writing tutor extends beyond helping students with their essays. I am fortunate to be able to meet with all kinds of people and be a tool for God’s kingdom by bringing peace into student’s lives.