Years ago, a woman extended her sympathy to me because I couldn’t participate in adult Sunday school classes. Why “couldn’t” I participate? Because I was teaching first-grade Sunday school instead. She really seemed taken aback when I told her, “There is nowhere I’d rather be!” (with my first-grade class, that is).
That incident came to mind as I read the article, “The Blessing of Teaching the Children,” by Nick Batzig. Although he is articulating what many of us already know to be the case based on our own experience from years of teaching, it was refreshing to hear it from a young pastor:
Here are four of the blessings that pastors and congregants can glean from working to bring the deep truths of the Scriptures to the ears of the next generation of those in the church:
- The blessing of remembering the central truths. As we teach about the nature of Scripture, the Godhead, creation, providence, the fall, sin, the person and work of the Redeemer, the work of the Holy Spirit, the benefits of salvation, the church and eternity, we ourselves are reminded of what is of most importance to our own faith and life…
- The blessing of growing in your ability to break down the deep truths. Another of the great blessings of teaching doctrine to the children of the church is that we have to learn to break down, rather than water down, the truth. We often underestimate what children can learn and understand. We also forget that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to give that spiritual understanding that comes from saving faith…
- The blessing of watching the children of the church process God’s truth. …Children are often listening far more attentively and thoughtfully to what is being taught in Sunday school than we imagine.
- The blessing of knowing that you are planting seeds of truth for life. By God’s grace, we sometimes get to see fruit borne early on in the lives of those children to whom we labor to teach the truth of God’s word. There are some who manifest soft and believing hearts and very, very young ages. It is rewarding to see God redeeming and spiritually maturing a child…However, the reality is that we will sometimes—sadly even often—not see the fruit that God will bring forth…Nevertheless, of this much we may be sure, we are planting and watering seeds in little minds.
(Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)