I was relaxing late Saturday night, reading a magazine from the overflowing stack, when I got a phone call from the teen Sunday School teacher. “My kid is puking everywhere — can you fill in? I didn’t really have a lesson prepared. Maybe you could show them a video.”
I picked up a book about the will of God. Maybe something in here would do? I fumbled around on the bookshelf. I prayed.
I resolved to figure it out the next morning before church. I overslept. I stuck Ice Age in my bag… just in case.
I got to early service and barely participated as I pondered the upcoming Sunday School class. I printed off a lesson from a curriculum we never finished. I drank some coffee. I did not have high hopes.
I got to class, not sure what to expect. Three preteen boys sprawled on the youth group couch and chairs stared back at me. Great. Just great.
We began by talking about school. It had been awhile since I caught up with these kids, so hearing about their lives was well… refreshing. After about 15 minutes we dove into the lesson: The importance of getting into the Word. Since none of the kids actually brought their Bibles to class, looking up verses about the merits of Bible study suddenly became a bit pointless. So I just started a dialog. And you know what, it was really great.
We talked about the struggle of not only making time for God’s word, but mustering up the mental energy to really get something out of it. As one guy put it, “There’s no point reading it if you’re not really going to focus, because then you have no idea what you just read.” So true.
We talked about the temptation to put it off until it never gets done. I shared from the The Screwtape Letters that one of Satan’s tactics is not to get us to think that prayer and Bible study aren’t important, rather he wants us to think they are SO IMPORTANT that we need to WAIT for a special time to do it.. and that very special time never comes.
We talked about how the Bible isn’t like a novel or other books, which have all the details laid out for you. You have to really think about the story to picture it in your head. You have do do a little commentary exploration for the full story.
By the end of class, that experience was one of the best Sunday School’s I’ve ever “taught”. And maybe that’s because I didn’t really teach anything. We discussed, we tried to plan, we gave suggestions and we prayed. We gathered together and believers and supported each other and challenged each other. That, I think, is what church is all about.
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