I was a junior at CCU (Clemson Christian University) when I volunteered to teach a Sunday School class of eleven year old boys. I prayed about the situation, felt a calling to fill the vacancy and I reassured myself with these words, “How hard can it be?”
It did not take long for Ol’ Andy O. to realize he had taken on a God-sized task. The first Sunday I taught the class, I understood that there was more to preparation than just coming into the classroom and expecting instant respect because I was only a few years their senior. The “cool” Christian angle only works until the aforementioned eleven year olds realize that your quality of articula- tion is directly related to your command of the juvenile attention span and your needed preparation for the classroom experience. I had to face the heartbreaking realization that my words of wisdom and direction were just as boring as those I criticized as an eleven year old myself. On numerous Sundays the class resembled a “shark-like” blood-inspired, feeding frenzy. The lesson was tolerated only if they knew we were gonna talk about a road trip to ride go-karts or go play putt-putt in, of all places – Shelby, NC, at the conclusion of our chaotic time of spiritual enlightenment and nurture.
You can imagine my pride at seeing one of my boys at the Shelby Mission Camp a few weeks ago. He and his wife were there as a part of a team of workers from a western NC church and the former eleven year old was the pastor. I knew he’d followed the call of God numerous years before and he and his wife have served a few North Carolina congregations. I would love to think that my fee- ble efforts played a part in the ministry of these two ministerial teammates. But the reality is God works in the midst of our willing- ness to venture out in faith and attempt the tasks He calls us to perform and oftentimes His purposes are achieved in spite of us. One thing I do know is that God uses the willing person.
Sunday School teachers, thank you for being willing. Your responsibility as an instructor of God’s people is one of the most difficult, frustrating, confusing, fearful, time consuming, life changing, faith-building, and rewarding positions in the local congregation. Pop- lar Springs family, please do two things today, in the next hour or right now! One, invite someone to join you at your weekly Sunday School Bible Study hour. It starts at 9:45 am on Sunday and breakfast is provided at 9:15 am in the FLC. Two, tell your teachers you appreciate them. Better yet, show them that you are thankful for their efforts (feel free to use your imagination!).
Thank you Sunday School Teachers!
Your grateful pastor, Andy O. (704) 300-0062