This month I want to take the opportunity to highlight some of the most overworked and undervalued workers in churches today...Sunday School teachers. Sunday School teachers are the heartbeat of the teaching ministry of the church. They are the faithful servants out there week in and week out handling the Word of God, teaching it in relevant ways to those in their classes.
Many of these teachers have been teaching for years, because they actually believed it when someone told them that the only way out was for them to either move to another location or pass on to Heaven. Some have just accepted the responsibility of teaching, and thus are just embarking on this adventure ahead of them. Some, like the heroes they truly are, stepped up to teach when the need presented itself, even if it wasn’t their first area of choice to serve in, and even if they gave other people every opportunity to respond to the need first. My heart beats with excitement over these individuals because they do what is necessary to proclaim the truth of God’s holy Word. I know it sounds wise to say that everyone in the church should just serve in areas that they are most passionate about or where they can best utilize the gifts that God has given them. That may be the ideal, but Sunday School teachers know that churches often don’t operate in an ideal fashion. I am not personally gifted or skilled in the culinary arts. I’m not passionate about cooking and putting a meal together. However, when my son needs to eat, I don’t sit back and think, “I should really leave his feeding to someone who is a better cook.” No, I step up and respond to the need, trying my best to sustain him until a real cook steps into the kitchen. Whatever reason teachers start and continue to teach, they all have made a commitment to the discipleship process, teaching the truth of God’s Word.
Teachers also do far more than just teach. They make sacrifices to be doers of the Word, rather than merely recipients of the Word. They sacrifice their time to study the lesson and to be ready to lead out each week in class discussion. They serve as ministers as they go about building relationships with those in their class, getting to know their needs and concerns. They act in an administrative capacity as they plan and organize class fellowships and outreach opportunities. They are prayer warriors for those in their charge. They encourage and edify, they hold class members accountable, they share the Gospel when presented with an opportunity, and they reflect the love of Christ in all that they do. In others words, they excel at bringing glory to God!
Mililani Baptist Church is blessed to have so many great teachers involved in the education ministry here. If you haven’t done so, take the opportunity to get plugged into a class and grow in your understanding and knowledge of who God is. On February 21, at 5:30 p.m., here at MBC we will be hosting a teacher appreciation dinner for all of those who have so graciously served in this ministry at one point or another over the past year. We are going to take this opportunity to thank them for their willingness to teach. Now if you are a member of one of these classes though, you don’t have to wait until we show our appreciation for them at that time. Rather, take the opportunity this entire month to let them know how much you are grateful for their leadership and for the time they put into teaching your class on a weekly basis. Give them a handshake, a hug, or a pat on the back, send them a note of encouragement/thanks, or offer to teach the class from time to time just to give them a little break. There are lots of creative ways you can show your appreciation of them. Take the opportunity to do so this month, to let them know you care.