I grew up in church. My parents brought me to church every single Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night. It was part of the culture of our family. It’s what we did.
So I was one of those kids that was in Sunday school class every single week. I heard almost every single Bible story. But do you know what? I only remember a handful of those “lessons” that were carefully and intentionally planned by my teachers each week. This might be discouraging to hear if you are a teacher and you work tirelessly each and every week to teach your students, but only a handful stand out to me.
But do you know what REALLY stands out to me when I look back on my Christian education at church? The people. My teachers. It was the relationships those teachers and leaders fostered with me that were not only memorable, but what actually shaped me. It was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, lived out in these teachers, that impacted me the most. Sure the lessons were helpful. I’m sure my knowledge of the Bible was furthered because of those carefully planned and intentionally executed lessons. But it was the “lessons” lived out in the life of the teacher that made the difference.
Kids are smart, right? Smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. They know if you really believe what you are telling them. You see, I don’t remember all of my teachers in Sunday school at church, or the teachers at school for that matter. I only remember those teachers whose lives looked like the lessons they taught from Scripture. So you could say, not only was my knowledge of the Bible furthered, but my relationship with God was strengthened by my teacher’s example to me. I remember Mrs. Hodges in Kindergarten, Wendell Hodges in 3rd grade, Junior Garcia in 4th, Jim Hunt in Middle School, Mike Mobly in High School, Mark Jalovick, John McMurray, Steve Patty, and Professor David Needham in College. These people marked and shaped my life because they lived and displayed the Gospel to me.
Content is important, however content without a relationally appropriate vehicle (a gospeled/gospeling human being) to deliver it, is just black ink on a white page or the “Blah, blah” teacher in Charlie Brown.
source Hayward Wesleyan