A risk worth taking

Published 3:58 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018


When the pastor asked for volunteers to teach Sunday school, I felt a tug on my heart. When my children were small I worked hard — both at home, my teaching job, and at church. I couldn’t help but wonder where the parents of these children were? I guess it really didn’t matter that I no longer had little ones if there was a need, and obviously there was.

After church, I stopped by the sign-up table and requested the sixth-grade class if it was available. Turns out the volunteers rotate and only teach once a month. When I questioned the reasoning behind this method I learned that this was in response to the lack of interest on the part of the church body to work with these precious ones.

I had used the excuse that I had already done my part for quite a while, so I wasn’t exactly helping the situation. How can any of us expect the youth in our country to step up and be all they can be if we all wait for someone else to show them the way?

I learned that the fifth and sixth graders met together and the class was quite large. With this knowledge came the realization that it would be great to have another warm body to help. To my delight almost everyone I approached agreed to help when they could.

My friend, Dianne, and I prepared for the first class. We both had experience with this age group and excitedly anticipated interacting with the students. We arrived early to set up the class and pray for the ones who would soon be in our charge.

By the time the parents came to pick their students up after class both Dianne and I felt like we had been run over by a Mac truck! Wow! It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I had to result to raising my voice to maintain any type of order.

I wanted to show God’s love to these kids, but this class was definitely going to be a challenge. My friend decided that she had too much going on in her life to commit to the class, and I respected her decision.

I knew something had to give, or I was going to dread taking my turn each month. I thought surely the rowdy boys would behave properly if could find enough people to help. The next month my hubby volunteered along with two sweet and brave ladies. I told them of my prior experience with the class, and we worked hard to prepare for what we hoped would be a positive experience for us all. We planned, prayed, and brought cookies.

This time the class listened and interacted appropriately. All of us enjoyed the day and are on board for next month. The combined age of the four of us is around 240 years. That’s just too much wisdom to waste!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.