Sunday School - A Pine Valley UMC Ministry Blog about impacting Children for the Kingdom of God

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When I was around six years old I had a Sunday School teacher named, Mrs. Aiken.  I thought she was so beautiful and so nice. I cannot remember the lessons but I knew she loved me and she loved God.  She was why I loved going to Sunday school!  I still think she is beautiful and I still love her!

When my girls were in fifth grade Sunday school they had Mr. Simcoe as their Sunday school teacher.  He was also a soccer coach and that made him extra cool!  All the kids loved Mr. Simcoe!  Matthew 18:5, “...and whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”   Mark 9:36-37, “...Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,  “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me…”  Welcoming was a great way to describe Mr. Simcoe standing in the doorway greeting each child.

When my girls were young, I started teaching senior high Sunday school and I loved it!  Those kids were so fun and kept me young!  There were times when my doorbell rang because one of them needed to talk.  What an honor for them to come to talk with me. I appreciated God letting them know they had a safe place and could trust me. I was there when their parents split, when they went through tough times, when they were in trouble, etc. Many years later I still get visits from those special kids - going to their weddings and seeing their children now!  

Why did I start working with the youth?  Because I knew I needed to give back.  God had been so good to me!  Mrs. Aiken and many others had taught me.  2 Timothy 3:14-15, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  I wanted to share how God had blessed me!  Matthew 25:21, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness.’”  I definitely received much more than I gave!

The one thing Mrs. Aiken, Mr. Simcoe, and I all had in common was the love for God, children and youth!  I certainly was not a good Sunday school teacher based on my theological background.  I would bet most Sunday school teachers would say the same about themselves.  One PVUMC teacher told me she has found that she learns as she goes.  God does not call the equipped.  He equips the called!  God can use anyone  who gives their heart to Him.

For thousands of years God has asked people to help others come to know Him and live in faith. In Exodus Moses did not feel capable to lead even after he saw a burning bush!  Moses tried to argue with God and list his shortcomings.  God assured Moses that his gifts were sufficient and help would arrive when needed.  Help did arrive when Moses needed it. And God will do the same for us. He will use what gifts we have and add to them to make us an effective teacher!  Through the years Sunday school teachers have been from many backgrounds and many levels of ability.  But each person felt called to teach and then responded. 

There are many blessings in teaching the children.  We are reminded of what is most important in our own life.  By teaching we face the same truths over and over again and it sinks into our hearts and minds.  Another blessing is being able to witness how the children use the truths they have learned.  And what a blessing knowing that we are planting seeds of truth for their life.

PVUMC is faced with a great problem.  We need Sunday school teachers for our children.  Teaching children’s Sunday school can change the course of history!  Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  You are part of the process that sees those children learn, serve, and one day, stand in glory before Jesus!  Matthew 19:14, “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”

Are you being called?  Chances are it will not come from a burning bush but God uses many ways to call us.  It may come through the voice of a friend, as a plea for help, through prayerful discernment, from a sermon challenge, a nudging, or a constant reminder. What is your response?  - Contact the church office if you feel the call.

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Jill Jarrell Newsome