This week I'm working on wrapping up our intergenerational Sunday School class, "The Righteous Shall Live By Faith." It's a study on the 10 Commandments that's masterfully written so as to engage adults and children alike. I was looking through some of my notes from this past summer and came upon what you see below. It's a blog post that I meant to post back in June, but forgot to do. For what it's worth, here's what I was thinking about one day last June as I was preparing a Sunday School lesson.
I have had the privilege of teaching the 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class at Riverview for the past two years now, and I look forward to teaching it again this year, beginning in September. I also have the privilege of teaching Riverview's intergenerational class this summer, along with my mom.
We usually have somewhat of an unwritten policy at the church that states that volunteers who teach during the school year (September through May) don't teach during the summer so as to give them a break. After all, they put in approximately 40 weeks of lesson preparation and presentation during the year. My mom is also one of our regular Sunday School teachers, and she was due for a summer off. This year, however, I asked my mom to help me teach the intergenerational class during the summer, which meant that neither she nor I would get a break (although I don't usually get a break - I'm always teaching something somewhere, which I am usually more than happy to do).
Anywho, we got to talking while we were working on our lesson prep for the summer intergenerational class. I was a bit bummed that I had to get my mom to teach the class with me. This is not to imply that my mom's a bad teacher, or that I didn't want to do it with her, but more of a lament that it is often times difficult to find and recruit "fresh blood" for church ministries, especially Sunday School teachers, and that the usual people tend to end up getting asked again and again, and sometimes have to give up the summer break that they would usually enjoy in order to fill a volunteer ministry role, which was exactly what my mom was doing by helping me teach Summer Sunday School.
It suddenly dawned on me, however, that my mom is probably coming toward the end of her Sunday School teaching career. That put my thoughts into a whole different perspective: since my mom is a gifted teacher and enjoys teaching, and especially sins she probably won't be teaching for too much longer (in the grand scheme of things, at least) then we should get everything we can out of her now! That is, if she won't be around for forever, let's utilize her God-given gifts and talents in teaching as much as we can in the present, while she is still physically able to do so. Not to do so would be a waste.
Then I got to thinking about myself. It sure would be nice to have a three month break where I didn't have to teach Sunday School, volunteer for such and such ministry do this, do that, etc. But then again, I don't have "much" time left either. In other words, my time as a Sunday School teacher has an end date - a shelf life, if you will. And the thought of me not teaching Sunday School while I can, especially in light of the fact that my time and ability to teach has an expiration date, gave me a sense of urgency that I want to hold on to.
I don't have much time. I need to be doing what God has called me to do, which right now is teaching Sunday School. Even if it means I have to put some more time into my weeks during the summer preparing Sunday School lessons when I could be vacationing, taking it easy during the week, or just relaxing. There's plenty of time for that throughout the rest of my life. But who knows how much longer I'll be able to teach Sunday School (my ministry role might change, someone else might step forward, I might be unable to because of some change in my physical condition, etc.)? Sure, I'm "only" 31 years old, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? I only have a certain amount of time left (even if it's a long time, I've still got an end date), and I want to make the most of it.
I pray that God will continue to give me this urgency in my life and ministry.