by Tad Anderson
My wife and I started attending Our Redeemer’s in Fall 2021 and joined last Easter. Since then, we’ve each found several places to plug ourselves in to this wonderful community. One thing I chose was to help out once a month in the O-Rock Sunday School – even though our own kids are long grown. What a great decision!
In the first place, we love being in a church where there are lots of kids and a vibrant Sunday School and Youth program. (That isn’t a given these days.) Our kids had that when they were growing up, and it was a major part of their lives and a source of friendships to this day.
I think it’s great for those of us who don’t have young children to take on this task. It lets both the kids, and their parents get a break from each other and develop their own relationships. (Tip for new members: getting to know the kids is a lovely way to get to know the adults. I mean, what parent doesn’t like to hear a little anecdote about their child?) In addition, teaching Sunday School gives a retired person like me a peek into what it’s like to be a kid these days. Here’s a tiny example: Last Sunday, the activity guide showed a child saying “thank you” in sign language. I asked the class if any of them knew any sign language. Whoa! I was surprised to learn that they all knew quite a few words – e.g., “more,” “water” and, the all-important “bathroom.”
Finally, teaching Bible stories is a good way to encounter them afresh. From Jonah and the Whale to the Prodigal Son, we’ve got some great material to work with. Over and over, it seems to me, these stories seem to be about drawing us out of selfish, anxious wandering and into trusting, purposeful relationships. Of course, the kids don’t always sit still and listen. But maybe they’re just acting out the sort of distractions we all experience when God is trying to reach us. We go off on silly tangents all the time, but when something “clicks,” it’s so worth it.