Volunteers who serve in Sunday school every Sunday are becoming more and more rare in Sunday schools everywhere. For directors, this is unfortunate for a prime reason–it increases the number of people you have to recruit. For teachers, I’m afraid they’re being robbed of huge blessings. And for children and families, I’m afraid that they’re missing out on amazing ministry that happens when someone is willing to commit weekly.
For me as a teacher, there are three key reasons that I want to be with my 2-year-olds every Sunday at 9:30 (that I’m in town).
1. Consistent Presence–Studies are showing that “regular church attendance” means twice-a-month attendance. So my kids and their families are coming to church inconsistently. Who knows which Sunday these kids will attend? When they come, I want them to have some consistency–and someone who knows their name. If I’m there every week, the one consistent presence for them–other than God himself–is me. This consistency pays off. When little ones are hesitant to come to class, they see me and I know something about them that I can use to pull them into class. “Hey, Logan, we have trains! Want to play trains with me?” Other than that, parents have told me that their children have struggled when I’ve been gone–they want to see the same face every week!
2. Family Ministry–We talk a lot about family ministry and how important the family is to reach children today. But where do we think that really happens? I believe that for many parents it happens at the drop-off/pickup time in Sunday school. Just a few weeks ago, Elijah’s mom said, “I see you here every week but I don’t even know your name.” We introduced ourselves and the next week enjoyed the new budding relationship we’re building. In fact, I have her daughter in my class now and Mom and I are getting together for coffee this week.
A single mom recently told me that her son is stuttering and she didn’t know what to do. So I asked a former speech pathologist for help then emailed the mom with some advice. That kind of trust and intersection with one another’s lives comes from being there for those parents week in and week out.
3. Delight–I say it over and over: Being with my 2-year-olds on Sunday morning is the highlight of my week. I love helping them know that Jesus loves them! I enjoy sharing God’s Word with them. I love hugging them, playing with them, feeding them, and taking care of their needs. Serving them and loving them meets needs in my life that nothing else does. Yeah, it’s selfish but the rewards keep me coming back week after week.