Ryan and I attend Lasalle Christian Church of Christianville (we're Christians, can you tell?). It is right down the road from us. We have been quiet observers in the past, but recently we have stepped up our involvement a little bit. I noticed a lot of little heads in the pews, nodding off, making noise, bugging the people in front of them, and generally not having a good time in the "grown up" service. So, I decided to start a Sunday school program at the church. Our church had one in previous years, but it had lacked one for at least four years, and the congregation was ready to start one up again. I only go to church every other week as it is, because our kids are so little and there is no nursery program, so Ryan and I take turns attending every other Sunday. So, I didn't want to be the main teacher of the Sunday school program, because then I would miss church service completely, and so would Ryan (because he'd be home with our kids). So, I asked Pastor Fanel if he could find me some volunteers. I was hoping for at least four. He found me eight. I was delighted that so many wanted to help. When we had our first meeting, I realized that they didn't even want me to be a teacher at all. They were just expecting me to be the coordinator. That was great to hear, too. They divided themselves into four teams of two, and we decided each team would only have to teach Sunday school once a month, so they wouldn't have to miss too much church. I provide the curriculum, lesson plans, memory verse, activity ideas and materials, and felt board. Every Friday, I meet together with the team that will be teaching that Sunday, and give them the materials and lesson plans.
We started this program back in the fall of 2011, and it's been going well ever since. We have about 50 kids, ages 3 to 14, in the class right now. The teachers took the initiative to put on a Christmas program with the kids, and did a great job on their own (since I was in the States). The teachers also come up with good ideas for me to incorporate in the lessons. One of the teams recruited a pianist to come play for the children during the weeks that they teach. One teacher gave me a song sheet to print out for the kids, so they could have their own song booklets. For the most part, the program is going well. My goal is to give up a little more control over the program as time goes on, so that eventually it will just run without me.
When we studied Abraham and God's promise to him to give him a son in his old age, our memory verse was "With God, nothing is impossible." The activity I chose to reinforce this lesson was for the kids to write out something that they felt was impossible in their lives. Then at the end of the lesson, we prayed that God would work in our lives and listen to these prayers about these impossible things. I told the kids that God would answer them, but not necessarily with a "yes". It might be a "no" or "not yet". The kids had some interesting things that they thought were impossible. Most of the kids drew pictures of planes, or cars, or bikes. They figured they'd never get to own one of those. But some of the kids went a little deeper. One 10 year old girl wrote a long essay listing all the things in her life she felt were impossible. The list included "Mom and Dad getting back together", "Not having to live my with grandparents", and "My grandfather to come to the Lord." I hope she holds on to the hope that nothing is impossible with the Lord, and that God answers some of her prayers with a "yes".