by Marlene LeFever
I'm a Sunday school teacher. If you could hear me say these words, they would sound more like they were shouted from a megaphone, "I'm a Sunday School teacher!" I'm bullish about my church job. Let me take you into my elementary class to share some of what God is doing there.
Reach everyone I teach! That was my teaching goal. I was really, really prepared for Sunday school. But, when only one child showed up, my first reaction was, "What a shame! I prepared such a good lesson and now it will be wasted." My second reaction was more Christ-centered. I said I wanted to reach every one I teach, and here she was! Obviously God wanted Melissa to be my class.
I taught the whole lesson, and we had a great time. Melissa, an auditory learner, enjoys talking, and in our one-to-one class she could talk all she wanted. Our lesson was on Jesus being with us when we hurt. After we studied the Bible story, we did the talking-moving activity in our lesson. She stretched out on a large piece of paper and I traced around her. Then we talked about the times when she had hurt and Jesus had helped her. She came up with typical eight-year-old things. "I fell and hurt my knee." We thanked God that He had been there with her, and put a Band-Aid on the life-sized paper outline. "I hurt when I didn't understand how to do my homework and I got a bad grade." A Band-Aid went on the head of her drawing. Then she said something that taught me - her teacher. "When my daddy isn't home, I have a daddy-ache."
What a beautiful idea, I thought, as she placed a Band-Aid on her drawing's heart. In a spiritual sense, I'd like to feel a Daddy-ache, so that when I neglect my friendship with God, I feel the ache in my heart. When I'm too busy to pray or study the Bible at my adult level, that Daddy-ache will remind me to spend time with Him. May I teach so each youngster in my class come to love Jesus and to feel a Daddy-ache when he or she moves away form Him or does something to disappoint Him.
Our small church has a space problem so my class meets in the basement. Another Sunday our lesson was on Abram's journey from Ur, so the nine students took the basement journey. We were sitting on a wheelchair ramp, the first stop in our journey, when a visitor with a crying baby joined us. In our limited church space, it was the only place she could go to comfort her little fellow. She listened as I told the story of Abram building an altar. The baby stopped crying, but the woman didn't leave. We journeyed to other parts of the basement as our journey continued, and she came along.
We ended our Bible study in Egypt, a table where all the children climbed up and sat listening to how Abram lied to the Pharaoh. The woman and sleeping baby were still with us (standing beside the table). Class ended and she asked me, "Was that story really in the Bible?" I assured her that it was. "Does this church tell Bible stories every Sunday?" I nodded and explained that we not only tell the stories, but we also help children and adults discover for themselves what that story has to teach them. "Well," said the woman, "Do you mind if I come back again?"
That's what I want every one of my classes to be like-so exciting and involving that even a visitor with a crying baby will be captured and drawn in.
God called me to be a teacher. Twenty years from now, many of the children I now teach will be living for Jesus. I know God will honor my Sunday morning gift to Him and to them. Has God called you, too? Then come on! Shout with me! I'm a Sunday School Teacher!
Marlene LeFever is director of ministry relations for David C. Cook Church Ministries.
She is the author of more than ten books and is editor of Teacher Touch,
a quarterly letter for Sunday school teachers.
Used by permission.