P: 519-743-1461 Toll Free 1-877-373-5242
Thank You Teacher!
Sometime this month, most of our churches will experience a strange but predictable transformation. Centre aisles will become dusty roads and chancels will become stables. Children will magically morph into bath-robed and towel-headed shepherds, foil-crowned magi and tinsel -winged angels. Someone will be Mary and another Joseph. And perhaps, with a little luck, we’ll get a real, live newborn to sub in for the baby Jesus!
It happens every year; the annual children’s Christmas pageant! And once again, behind the scenes, making it all happen, will be those wonderfully generous, but vastly under-appreciated souls who staff our churches’ Sunday schools!
Most of them work in relative isolation and with little support or encouragement. The quarters are cramped, the supplies non-existent or long out of date. The kids are mostly sporadic in their attendance. You never know whether two or eight are gonna show up! Still, they seldom complain and despite the frustrations, most of them will be back at it, year after year, September through June. God bless ’em!
I don’t know about you, but I can remember every one of the Sunday School teachers I had while growing up. I remember their names and I can picture their faces as I write these words. Men and women, both young and not so young! They all had their own ways, their own style and their own quirks. But one thing they shared was their love for the children of the congregation. That’s the only reason they were there! And in their presence with and for us, each of them communicated something of the Gospel to us. Each of them embodied the love of Jesus in a way that was both tangible and real! And in doing so they called us into a deeper discipleship, a deeper experience of the faith.
The church is pretty good at doing some things and not so good at others. Thanking people is, sadly, among the latter. Too often, we take people and the gifts they share for granted. We’ve made a strange virtue out of non-recognition; made it somehow unseemly to work for anything more than the quiet satisfaction that comes from having soberly, quietly and stoically done one’s duty!
Nonsense! It’s a good thing to say thank-you, moreso for the one doing the thanking than for the one being thanked! It’s a means of re-orienting ourselves toward what ought to be the dominant posture of all Christians – thanksgiving! It’s a means of acknowledging that everything we have comes as a gift from a loving God, as gifts that are often transmitted through the faithful ministries of otherwise very ordinary people.
So here’s a thought. After the rickety props of this year’s pageant have been packed away for another year, why not give the teacher a bouquet of flowers or a Tim Horton’s gift card. Heck, if it’s been a particularly rough year – slip her a gift card from the provincial liquor commission! At the very least make a point of saying thank-you! But better yet, why not get up at next month’s annual meeting and propose that the Sunday School budget be raised by a couple hundred dollars! Then make sure to throw a few extra bucks in the plate to make sure it actually happens. Those acts of thankfulness and encouragement will make a world of difference; and most of all, to you!
- About Us
- Faith in Action
- Spreading the Word