My friend Angela and I are teaching the kindergarten and first grade Sunday School class at our church these days. Angela is a child psychologist married to a full time Child Evangelism Fellowship Missionary and I’m a mystery writer married to a funeral director…I point that out because I feel awfully blessed to get to work with her.
I love story time in Sunday school, at Vacation Bible School, during Children’s Church, on the bus. You know, wherever. If there are kids who need to be grouped together and entertained, I’m your girl.
Angela, on the other hand, sees beyond the shining eyes and the dimpled cheeks of kids when they are entertained. She sees right into their little hearts and feels their needs. It is so good for me to get to work with her.
We have found ourselves faced with a Sunday School dilemma I like to call, “A Million-Billion LittleBoys.” I tried to count them once but they were all moving. I think million-billion comes close. I know we had 15 kids on our biggest day, and we usually only have about 4 girls, so I think you get the picture. That’s a whole lotta 5 and 6 year old
This week we realized we need to make a change to prayer time. We go around the circle and share our concerns and bring them before the Lord. Some of the kids have significant struggles at home which they have no control over. We want these children to feel safe to share with us and to know they are loved.
Some of these kids are passionate about only one thing: Wii Mario. We want them to grow up knowing that whatever is most important to their little hearts matters to us and matters to God. So we give thanks to God for Mario and for big brothers and daddies who play Mario with us. And we pray that God will help us get to the next level in Mario.
But, as you can imagine, a million-billion prayers about Mario takes a long time. And a long time praying is a LONG TIME sitting still quietly.
The solution we are going to test next week is splitting the group into two parts so that the total prayer time will be less about sitting still for an hour and more about spending time with God.
I know, it doesn’t sound like a drastic change. I can see that. And yet, despite 22 years of children’s ministry (I started as a helper to my parents in their toddler class when I was 12) I have never tried to divide and conquer a million-billion moving boys.
But we can do it, and it will be great. I just need to remember that “I can do all things through him who gives me strength!”