In thanks to Sunday School teachers

Remembering the day my Sunday school career started and ended.

As face-to-face Sunday services are beginning to happen again throughout the country, so too will Sunday School/Children’s Worship recommence. This recalls a long-ago Sunday School teaching experience.

“Come on Bob, how hard can it be to teach a group of three-year-olds?”

Thus spoke my wife as I got off the phone and mentioned my reservations about agreeing to help a church friend who called to ask if I would teach her Sunday school class that Sunday as she wasn’t feeling well.

Jean’s husband dropped off the Sunday School lesson material that evening. It was based on Psalm 23 and was titled, “God’s little lambs.” The lesson would start by telling the little kids about a shepherd looking after his sheep and protecting them from harm and danger just as Jesus looks after us. Pretty basic, I thought, and easy to tell dramatically.

Next came a craft that consisted of supplied outlines of little lambs on tag-board sheets. There was a requirement for cutting out the lamb figures, writing each child’s name on one side of it, and then gluing balls of cotton baton on the other side. Thus, each of God’s little human lambs would have a craft to proudly show their parents after the service. By the way, did I mention that this request and my acquiescence happened shortly after I was married, before I had any children of my own, and that my teaching experience was limited to teaching high school science?

I think you can see where this is going.

A few surprises

Sunday arrived and I carefully set up my supplies in the three-year-olds Sunday School room and waited for the little lambs to arrive. Soon, about 12 of them showed up with bright and eager faces. I wowed them with my story-telling skill (though I think I went on a little too long), and then told them (only once) about the fun craft we would do.

I did not know that three-year-olds need lots of repetition. I did not know that three-year-olds do not know how to use scissors. I did not know that three-year-olds are not very good at squeezing only small amounts of Elmer’s glue on balls on cotton batting. I had no idea of how to get glue-soaked cotton balls off little fingers and onto tag-board cut outs. I had no idea of how easily glue gets into kids’ hair and messes up little girls’ pretty Sunday dresses. I had no idea how easily little lambs cry when things go horribly wrong. I had no idea how upset some parents would be upon retrieving their glue-encrusted, sticky children, some of whom had more cotton batting on various parts of their anatomy than on their little lamb cut-outs.

Thus ended my career as a Sunday School teacher and why I now wish to thank and honour all of you who faithfully, valiantly, patiently and creatively minister to God’s little lambs, of all ages, in Sunday Schools everywhere. God bless you.


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