Each summer, right about this time, I begin to think about Sunday school leaders for next year. I contact the people who taught this year to find out if they’d like to return for another year and I start to think about who might be great additions to our group of volunteers and begin to contact them. This is where it gets tricky. The people I think would be great, don’t always have the time or de-sire to give it a try.
Each of the past 3 years, we have run Sunday school short of volunteer leaders, with this past year being the hardest. I never did find an individ-ual willing to lead the Jr. High Sunday school class this year so I took that on. I tried to organize our time together to include time to socialize (so important to them), learn from the Bible and how those lessons apply to their everyday life and give back to their church community. Although I en-joyed my time with this energetic, intelligent and outgoing group of kids, it meant that I was teach-ing Sunday school every Sunday. The downfall of that is that I was not able to adequately support the other teachers on Sunday morning and I felt spiritually drained by the end of the Sunday school year. I need a different solution for this upcoming year.
I understand that not everyone can lead Sunday school. A Sunday school leader has to have the skills and desire to put forth the time and energy to be present for these kids. They deserve that! Since teachers only lead class twice a month, with at-home prep of about 30-60 minutes prior to the Sundays they teach, we are talking about 18 Sun-days during the school year. I think it may be more of a mental hurdle for most, rather than an issue of time. So, if I approach you and ask you to consider leading Sunday school, please take the following into consideration:
1. Refrain from saying “no” right away. Give it some thought, pray on it, and talk with your significant other, friends and family before giving me an answer.
2. Know that if I am asking you to teach it’s not because I’m “desperate” or that “everyone else said ‘no’”, it’s because I may see something in you that you may or may not see in yourself. Again, speak with your family and friends and pray on it. Their feedback may surprise you.
3. Lastly, please respond. Unanswered emails and phone calls frustrate me. I never know if no answer means “no”, or “I’m still thinking” or “I’m on vacation” or that you just plain forgot. Please give me the courtesy of an answer, even if that answer is “no”.
Families are busy, I get that. Between school, sports and other activities the calendar fills up pretty fast. Attending church and teaching Sunday school is a commitment. However, Sunday school teachers don’t have to just be those with young children. We all have the responsibility of supporting our children in their Christian faith. It’s a promise we make each and every baptism service. We have all of these fabulous families at St. Luke’s and we are blessed with many children in our program. Let’s support those numbers by providing them with a quality Sunday school experience.