I have taught fourth grade Sunday School in the Kid’s Zone at FBC Hurst for two years now. The things I have learned from the kids is amazing. The more I try to teach, the more they teach me. It is incredible. I never thought I would learn all of their names, but it happened. I have specific kids for specific needs, like my resident dancer Kayne, as an example.
We get into a routine each week. We start with some pre-class play, usually building with cups, or other things, then we get into the music, lesson, memory verse, snack, and if we have time, we usually finish with one last game. It is easy to become complacent, and just operate according to the schedule, and then go home, until next week. Shame on me. I’ll tell you why.
In the routine, I tried to see the needs in the kids. I would wake up Sunday morning, go to the church early, in order to drop of my oldest for orchestra rehearsal, make coffee, and help setup. Afterwards, I would sit down, and study the lesson, a few minutes before class was to start. This was a major disservice to my kids, that were hungry to be taught. I justified this by saying “They are kids. They will be fine.” All it took was one little thing in order for God to get my attention, and show me how stupid I was being.
Recently, the radical change in me came from the time I passed out cards like normal. Had them write something down, if the needed, and pass them back to me. One kid stood up, and said you can read mine, even though it is folded. A careful “are you sure” came from me. He then told me, in front of all of his fellow 4th grade peers, I miss my dad. I haven’t seen him in a long time, because all he does is drink. I haven’t seen him in probably six months; I miss him.
What am I doing? My wicked justification of “They’re just kids” is awful. Here is a kid in desperate need, and week-by-week, I simply treated the class as an afterthought, whether I realized it or not. They are not just kids. They are the most IMPORTANT age group in church. They are the future. I understand that all ages are important, but children are very tender, and I hope that my indifference did not negatively impact a single kid. I have changed my heart, changed my mind, and now see these kids as the most important group.
I hoped to step it up a level by giving the kids an index card, so they could put pray request on it. For those that are still uncomfortable with this, they could fold them in half, and I promised them I would NOT read them, but offer them in prayer, knowing that God knows what these little children need; seeing what is going on in their lives. This was a step up from just the regular schedule, and allowed them to have a place to come, just in case.
As our new children’s training says:
Not only do kids matter, but kids matter more than adults.Joiner, R. (2016). A New Kind of Leader. Cumming, GA: Orange Books.
What you do for kids matters more than what you do for adults.
What you do for kids matters more than you think it does.
I could not agree more now. I guess this is part of the growing, and maturing process.