He was The Worst Sunday School Teacher Ever. Period.

Last night a good friend of mine graduated from community college and I had the opportunity to attend her graduation ceremony.  Whenever I go back to the town I grew up in (Rockford, IL), I see people that I used to know.  Interestingly enough, one of my Sunday School teachers from elementary school sat right behind me during the graduation ceremony.

He was not a great Sunday school teacher.  How do I know that?  Well, he did not like kids very much.  I realized that because he spent most of his time yelling at us and belittling us.  He also brought his own curriculum, which was different from what the other classes were using and happened to be from a different denomination.  My 1-year experience in his class is something I will never forget.

When I looked back at that memory, I realized that it had been twenty years since I was in his Sunday school class for eight months.  Only 32 Sundays.  I still remember the experience.

This week I had the chance to pray with our senior pastor Jim Nicodem for the recruitment of new leaders for the summer.  He prayed that God would arrest the hearts of many with a love for kids.  At the time, I found that an interesting thing to pray because I know how many leaders we need and right now we have less than 5% of our summer team filled.  But after seeing my old Sunday school teacher, I realized that Jim’s prayer was right on the money.  It’s easy to fall into a trap where we do not put first things first.  A love for kids is a requirement for every person who works directly with kids.  Kids remember the leaders they have, good and bad.  As ministry leaders, we need to give them shepherds who love being with them.