Last night I sat in our Wednesday night children's class in awe of God. The fact that he trusts me to teach children about Him is pretty amazing! Up until now, teaching the school-age children has been about filling a need. Serving where nobody else would. I've enjoyed it, but it was always a responsibility. But last night was different. It was an honor.
In our Wednesday night class we have several children that come who normally don't attend church on Sunday. A few of them have never been to church before. We were talking about Daniel and the lion's den. It's a pretty standard story that most children who attend church have heard many times. But last night, I saw that it was new to some of the kids. Completely new.
As we closed out our evening we talked about some of the kids' recent baptisms and why they were baptised. They knew that they had asked Jesus into their hearts and have a love for Him, but I was trying to explain that being baptised is an outward expression of obedience - showing others about their decision. We talked about how Jesus himself was baptised and I just briefly said that Jesus had died on the cross so we could all be forgiven and if we accepted Him we would go to heaven someday.
One of the children said, "Jesus died on a cross? How?" Wow! That blew me away. This child had never heard that before and I was given the honor to explain that for the first time. The student wanted to know every detail. I explained about the nails in His hands, how he hung there. The child wondered if he had died instantly from the pain or agonized for a long time. At that moment I was in a unique position to feel completely honored to be able to tell this child about Jesus, and at the same time, scared to death at the responsibility that it involved. What if I said something wrong, or the way I explained it was confusing?
In the end, it just felt really incredible! So often in our small church we only teach the "church kids." The ones who come every week and who know the stories. It's more about getting them to go deeper, understand better, and apply it to their own lives. But last night I was teaching to some kids who didn't know the stories, who hadn't heard. And isn't that what the church is supposed to be about too? Reaching the ones who don't know about Him.
It's humbling and incredibly awesome at the same time. And I have a new-found respect for all those Sunday School teachers I had in my life growing up.