One of the most necessary roles in the church is that of Sunday school teachers. It is not one of those “glamorous” jobs either. Sunday school teachers are crawling around on the floor building walls with one hand and fighting off the enemy with the other while they tell the Bible story. Fancy clothes, it turns out, do not wear well in that scenario.
Teaching Sunday School Involves Your Time
Teaching Sunday school involves a tremendous amount of work, which can vary depending on the age level. For the teachers of little ones, cutting fifteen plates into whale shapes is always a fun way to spend a Friday evening. For the teachers of older kids, the challenge is keeping students engaged in learning to the point they forget they were trying to look cool. (Is it even “cool” they’re going for these days? Who knows!)
Then there’s the pay associated with teaching Sunday school. My church Sunday school superintendent offered to double my pay a few years back, which was pretty easy for him to do since 0 x 2 = 0. Not to mention the money pulled forcibly from our pockets at the Dollar Tree. I’m going to need those cute crafts one day and look at this amazing tropical themed decor! You never know when that theme will come around, better get it while they have it. In fact, I’ve bought so many things because I might need them one day that my church bought a second storage cabinet for my classroom.
Teaching Sunday School Involves Your Concern and Empathy
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering if I’m trying to convince you not to teach Sunday school. That’s not at all true! It’s the most wonderful ministry in the entire church (though I may be biased). I’ve been one of two teachers in a small church and one of many in a large church. In both cases, the opportunity to touch the life of a child is unmatched.Something you say now in the days of their youth may come back to them in the future in their darkest hour. You may unknowingly pull them back from the brink with a kind word that touches their heart. Click To Tweet
As a person who loves statistics, I read recently that eighty percent of church leaders grew up in church. That means somewhere, in someone’s Sunday school class right now, are future district superintendents, music leaders, pastors, ushers, hostesses, Sunday school teachers, Bible study teachers, and missionaries.
He may be the one crawling under the table during craft time. She may be the one shouting, “Wait, I know this story!” during the lesson. Perhaps he’s the one who, at the end of the story of John the Baptist’s death, says, “Hang on a minute. That’s it? That’s how it ends?” She might even be the one that cried for ten minutes when Mom brought her to class. Since sadly not everyone who grows up in church stays there, a future prodigal may be in your classroom. Something you say now in the days of their youth may come back to them in the future in their darkest hour. You may unknowingly pull them back from the brink with a kind word that touches their heart.
Since parents and pastors have placed students in your hands, you have the power to build their faith, to strengthen their resolve, to plant those seeds that will never stop growing.
When you look at those faces in your Sunday school class again (and if you don’t have a Sunday school class, surely this will convince you to volunteer), look a little closer. Since parents and pastors have placed students in your hands, you have the power to build their faith, to strengthen their resolve, to plant those seeds that will never stop growing. You can be the teacher they remember years down the road when they need it most. You don’t have to have the fanciest classroom or the best crafts. Just love them, pray for them, and pour yourself into them. It’s what the Sunday school ministry is all about.
Richelle Votaw is a field editor for God’s Word for Life. She is a Kindergarten Sunday school teacher at First Pentecostal Church of Denham Springs, Louisiana. She holds a BA in elementary education and a master in educational technology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She teaches 5th and 6th grade English & Language Arts.
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