only help my unbelief


Why I help in the 3-year-old Sunday school class
June 8, 2008, 9:00 am
Filed under: Posts

Since February, I’ve been a helper (along with Lee) in the 3-year-old Sunday school class.

It’s the highlight of my week.

Being part of a local church body means there are lots of ways to serve for the glory of God. Some churches have phenomenal outreach ministries, which are a great thing to be involved in. But one of the less “attractive” ways of serving is to serve within the church. These are the jobs that don’t get a lot of public acclaim, because most think they’re not very glamorous.

But there are other reasons to serve within the church other than to get recognition (in fact, that should be the last reason). Here are just a couple of benefits I’ve gained from helping in the 3-year-old class on Sunday mornings — and I hope that the Lord is using me to bless them, too!

I spend time watching more mature Christians serve
Our class has one teacher and two helpers, me and Lee. Both of the teachers we’ve had since I’ve been in the class are moms, so they are wonderful examples. A man from our church also comes in and plays the guitar for the children each class, and I’ve been blessed by his care for them and for the joy that’s always evident on his face. I’m also blessed by the children’s director at church, who is so wise and helpful whenever we have problems. She knows all of the children individually, which is a testament to her passion for her job. I get to see these Christians “in action” each Sunday, which encourages me in my sanctification.

I am forced to slow down, be patient and be willing to laugh.
Last week I was teaching the class because the regular teacher was out of town. I was nervous about the story and getting all the kids to sit still. As I started telling the story, I started getting frusrated that some of the kids weren’t really paying attention. I had some picture flashcards to help tell the story (which was about Moses being in the bulrushes) and held up one of a basket. I asked one of the kids what it was, and he said, “A hamburger!” I almost fell out of my chair laughing. It DID look like a hamburger. The rest of story time was much more pleasant because I started to enjoy their little hearts and minds – and while we were doing our activity, several of the kids were able to tell me what the story was about, so at least some of them were listening.

I realize my own sins and shortcomings.
It’s funny, but the kids I get most frustrated with are the ones who are most like me. I don’t know what I was like when I was three, but the characteristics that get some of the kids in trouble are the things that I struggle with on a much larger level. Of course, my sins aren’t so blatant; I’ve learned to hide them. But honestly, sometimes, I don’t want to share. And so when I’m telling little Susie to remember that the toys are there for everyone to have fun with, I’m also telling myself that all I have is from the Lord, and I shouldn’t hoard anything for myself.

I’m getting on-the-job training for being a mom.
The children’s director encouraged me with this last Sunday as I asked her about how to deal with a particular behavior problem we were having in our class. I told her that I know what to do when certain things happen, but since I’m not a mom, I don’t always know what to do when things get out of control. She said, “But Chelsey, this is teaching you how to be a great mom!” This training also comes when I see how spiritually mature some of the kids are, which can only come from the training they get at home. Several of the kids know the answers to shorter catechism questions. Many of them are wonderfully polite. The kids themselves are an example to me of the kind of children I want to raise.

I get lesson – after lesson after lesson – in humility.
This is probably one of the most important benefits of helping in this class. Pride is one of my darling sins, and so the Lord is often quick to humble me. Sometimes when I come in the class, I think that what my idea for solving a problem is the best. But sometimes it doesn’t work, or the kids don’t listen, or someone else has a better idea. I’m forced to humble myself to the Lord and to other Christians, which is always a good lesson.

I hope these thoughts encourage those of you who are serving in a similar capacity. I also hope it spurs those of you who aren’t to find a way to get involved in your church, whether it’s in the infant nursery or helping out in the fifth grade Sunday school class (which is probably way harder than what I’m doing!). Not only will the Lord use you to bless others (in ways you may never know about), but even more so, He will use your service to others to bless you.

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