With baby number two on the way, my husband and I were stumped for a name.
It’s like when you’re searching for that perfect dress for that important function….not too short, not to low, not too frumpy…you can’t find the perfect one. Yet the very following week you’ll find the exact one…..you should’ve had.
Not thinking the whole baby name through well, we gave our first daughter our two favorite names. So when expecting our second baby, I felt a little panicky about coming up with the perfect name.
I was also up for suggestions.
On a whim I asked our then three year old (with the perfect names) what she wanted to name the baby if it was a girl.
Her answer…. “Gloria”
There’s a story behind the name “Gloria” and it’s not what you might expect. It’s not the name of her favorite cartoon character or her best friend.
No…the name Gloria was much more significant.
Gloria was the name of her Sunday School teacher.
I love that my daughter wanted to name her sister after her Sunday School teacher. It communicated a whole lot to me about what was going on in that brief hour or so every week that my daughter went to church.
Later I learned that “Miss Gloria” always greeted the kids by taking them to a mirror and having them look in to it and she would say “Jesus loves you and so do I.” And she would give them a big hug.
This was her greeting every single week.
Be still my heart. It still makes me tear up to this day.
Mr. Don her husband also was there to help so I can’t forget to mention his wonderful influence as well.
But week after week they showed up to love on these little 2 and 3 year olds and begin to show them the love of Christ.
As we gear up to go back to school this month, I need to sing the praises of some teachers who don’t often get enough praise….
The Sunday School teacher
The unsung heroes who show up faithfully every week to invest in our kiddos. You may never know how much you impact our kids.
I am especially grateful for the teachers who teach school all week and then show up on Sundays to teach kids on your day off. All I can say is “You Rock!”
Someday a small child might want to name their sibling after you!
And if you’re sitting in church, and you’ve heard the children’s wing is understaffed, and you’re thinking you’d like to give teaching Sunday School a try.
Here are some valid concerns I’ve heard just in case you’re doubting your abilities:
- I don’t know very much about the Bible (new Christian possibly)…..
Years ago (because it was a while ago) when I started seminary, we had to pass a basic test about the Bible. We had to get a passing grade before the end of our first semester. This always rattled the new seminarians. But the advice given by the professors was to grab a children’s Bible and read it. That was it. One of the best ways to learn the basics of the Bible is to teach children.
- I can’t come up with lessons….
I get it. We don’t really have much time to study in our crazy worlds. And if you’re not feeling overly sure of your Bible knowledge to begin with, coming up with lessons might seem daunting. Most churches will supply you with lesson plans. Usually if comes in the form of a magazine style book with brief lessons, but in today’s technology age it may come online. If your church is really hurting and there’s no one to even direct you to lesson plans you have two options as I see it. First, you can go dig through some closet in the basement of your church and find some old lesson books. It’s no short of amazing what you can find in old closets of your church. Or, you can look around online. There’s quite a bit out there to help with lesson plans….coloring pages to go with Bible stories and crafts.
- I’m not good with kids….
If you genuinely do not want to work with kids, this probably isn’t the task for you. But if you like kids and you don’t mind helping feed their souls once a week….give it a try. I will admit I don’t necessarily feel called to children’s ministries, but at different times in my life I’ve stepped up for the job because I wanted my kids to have opportunities to grow scripturally. One thing I’ve found when working with kids….they really don’t have the expectations adults have. They don’t complain later that the lesson was too long or the craft just wasn’t easy to follow. No, they enjoy the moment and are happy to be there with friends learning from you.
I am reminded of your sincere faith……
2 Timothy 2:5 says this “I am reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you.”
Paul is speaking to Timothy about the women who imparted their love and knowledge of the Lord and who built his faith. When Paul found him, Timothy was already sharing that knowledge with those around him. Loving the Lord was traveling from one generation, to the next, to the next…..
I didn’t know my grandmother. She died before I was born. The one thing I do know is that she taught Sunday School for many, many years. I have people tell me often the impact she had on their lives and for Christ. My own mother has spent countless hours working in our church basement as a Sunday School teacher and a Christian pre-school teacher. I am thankful for many men and women who shared Jesus with me faithfully on Sundays (and Wednesdays!) when I was growing up.
Thank-you dear Sunday School teachers. For investing in our kids and teaching them the most important learning comes from the pages of our Bible. You are the unsung heroes working in the basements and back rooms of our churches. What an amazing legacy you are leaving.
By Rev. Jennifer Starr-Reivitt at hopeasmyanchorblog.wordpress.com