No, seriously.

My love for Sunday School has never waned. As a kid, I enjoyed the felt boards and the take-home papers and the stories. (Fast forward through my adolescence, when we didn’t go to church). As a young adult, I enjoyed the discussions, learning first hand how the people in the Bible could somehow be relevant to my life.

As an adult, it’s been a long time since I attended a church that had Sunday School, and when we finally did, the kids were wee babes and frankly,we just didn’t get ourselves together in time to get there.

Until recently…when Mama administered the smackdown and said, “We need to go to Sunday school.”

This was not long after we started attending as a family the church that I grew up in. And to my surprise, three of the mainstays of Calvary AG’s Sunday school program are still in tact, and now teaching my family:

Mrs. J has been teaching the “baby” class since I was a kid there. No, it’s not just a nursery. The 0-2 year olds hear and learn songs and stories about Jesus. They come home with cards and crafts that they are proud to share. And my “baby” Kaity, who was reluctant to go to the class at first, now says she wants to “SEE MISS J” when we are gone, talks about her friends by name, and is most definitely gleaning nuggets of truth from what she hears during that special hour. This week was Kaity’s return to the class after a long, travel-induced absence, and when Kaity began telling all her friends about her trip to Disney World, Mrs. J. made it part of the lesson and made prince/princess crowns with the kids. Awesome. What a light she is shining down through generations!

Mrs. L has taught pre-schoolers since I was not much older…in fact, for awhile my mom taught with her, and as a teenager, so did I. Now she and her husband, who are rock stars to the 3-5 set, teach my Miranda, and Miranda cannot wait for “her church.” I am not sure why it is so hypnotic in that room, but I know that Miranda comes home with papers, projects, excitement, and knowledge about the Bible. Enough said! That, and, she loves Mrs. L and her husband (and their awesome extended family who pops in to help and has also befriended Paige). When we were leaving this past Sunday, I think Miranda hugged Mrs. L three times (I’m sure the fact that Mrs. L lets my Randa wear her heels during class is a bit of a draw, too).

Mr. R has taught the adult Sunday School class since my parents were in it. As a young adult, it wasn’t a class that interested me, because they sang old songs at the beginning of the class and well, Mr. R is kind of intimidating in that intellectual sort of way. Enter me at age 33, yearning to be a lifelong student, getting my best inspiration for writing projects while sitting in church, and… I Love This Class! I think I am the youngest person in it, and. I take notes. I get the jokes. I like the old songs. I like that it isn’t just a touchy-feely hour of how the Bible relates to us, but an studied journey every week of how the people and situations presented in the Bible are there for our benefit.

Sunday school teachers might be among the most unsung heroes of church leadership. I was one for 5 years or so and its consistency can be relentless…You have to have a lesson prepared, every week. You have to be there before everyone else. Whether the students are 3 or 33 or 53 or 83, you need to hold their attention and give them something valuable(and often tangible) to take home. And likely, you might be springing for donuts or donut holes out of your own pocket.

But the rewards, I hope, can be seen. I am grateful for these teachers, who minister to the hearts and minds of my family in a very real way.

PS: This post is also dedicated to Uncle Rick, who knows a really great Sunday School song and has been singing it to me, then my girls, for years. “If you don’t go to Sunday School, you’ll grow up to be bad…” Hmm. Maybe! ;)

~Read about more heroes of encouragement HERE: