My eldest daughter and I have asked to take on the ministry of the Sunday school program at our church. When we first started coming to this church, eight years ago, I kind of shied away from getting involved...why...well, I'll tell you why.......burnout.
From the age of 14....many, many moons ago......I have been doing Sunday school.....and I loved it...I started out teaching at one of the local hospitals. Every Sunday morn, an adult and I would drive to the hospital...she would take the older children's wing and I would take the younger kids wing. I would go to each bed and see if the child was mobile enough to come to a small room and that's where I would 'do Sunday school' with them. I'm not sure how many years that lasted but then I moved on to teaching in the church Sunday school. After I married, we moved around with my husbands job...every eighteen months we moved to a new city, and we also had two children. When eldest daughter was school age we decided that this nomadic life wasn't compatible with school life so hubby got a new job and we moved and stayed put in the city where I was born, and returned to the church that I grew up in. Once again, I was back to teaching in Sunday school. As the years progressed, so did I and when we made the difficult decision to start attending a small church closer to where we lived (we did move to the country suburbs after 3 years of yucky city life) I was head of a large primary that had six separate classes. At the smaller church, I started once again into teaching, and once again progressed to being ,this time, the Christian Ed. director of all the youth ministries. I enjoyed the job but in the last few years I took on a partner in crime...I felt myself wearing down...you know, the initial enthusiasm is there but after a short time the flame just burns out. After over forty years of youth ministry, I was burned out. It was at that time that our church head office, in its' infinite wisdom', decided to amalgamate with another in our denomination. It was not done well and we decided not to attend the new church but ended up at a church, for a year that was not of our denomination. At that church, I got involved in the library ministry...I've always enjoyed books so it was a good fit! Alas, after the first year, and a few 'visits' to another church, not the amagamated one, we returned to the denomination that both my husband and I and several generations before us had attended. It felt like home.....but I still shied away from getting back into youth ministries. I kept asking the Lord to direct me to another ministry but He never did. So, after an eight year break, I'm back......not quite as enthusiastic but I like to think of it as 'maturity and wisdom' and I'm sticking with that!
In eldest daughter, I see the enthusiasm which is good...very good...because, you see, we're trying out a brand new program, at a brand new time ...a few people have already expressed negativity at the new time...some people don't even want to be part of this new and exciting program because of the new time......is it just a case of 'well, we've always done it that way'...well, no not entirely but there are a lot of people not open to the fact that people's lifestyles are just different then they were forty-four years ago when I started. Back then, stores weren't open on Sundays...in fact, not too many places were open on Sundays to distract church goers, forty-four years ago it was almost unheard of for a child to have an athletic practice or even a birthday party on a Sunday! Sunday school didn't have to compete with all the extra attractions and parents weren't tired out from all the activities that they've taken their kids to all week! Forty-four years ago the only kids that needed to be picked up on the Sunday school bus were the kids from non-Christian homes because the parents didn't think that it was important for the kids to come. Today, parents don't always see the importance of Sunday school, they think that if the child attends church that it's good enough...I would disagree.....children of today face many obstacles to living the difficult (difficult because not too many of their friend are doing it) life as a Christian and just going to church with their family is, of course, very good but it's not enough. Children of today are not as accepting as children forty-four years ago, they ask more questions, are more skeptical....a few will get the answers in church, in between passing notes back and forth, written on the church bulletin or reading or even playing Gameboy or games on their cellphones (or even texting), yes some will get the answers but the majority will not and when they reach 'the age', the age that some of my teens did, where they make that heartbreaking to their parents decision, not to attend...they leave, without getting their answers...the answers that they could have got in a really good Sunday school class.
This is a very good program, a program where kids will get their answers, a program where they'll not be afraid to ask the questions....and I pray that they'll get the chance.