Mary Ann and I have a friend named Jennifer. On most Sunday mornings over the past seven years, you would have found her in a Sunday school classroom in her local church, surrounded by about 15 three-year-olds. Jennifer believes these kids are capable of grasping a whole lot of truth. She’s convinced that in many of these young hearts, she is planting seeds that are already beginning to take root and bear fruit. She can tell you plenty of stories about how she’s seeing that happen over and over again, in so many young lives.
Jennifer is a hero. For a lot of reasons. As she spends her time each week teaching a roomful of toddlers about Jesus, she is at the same time ministering to a lot of moms and dads, giving them a chance to rest, to worship, and to study God’s word.
Here are a few things you should know about our friend Jennifer.
No one was teaching her the Bible when she was three. Her mom left the family when she was a toddler. Her dad was in and out of her life. For the most part, her grandparents raised her. By the time she was sixteen, she was pretty much on her own.
She’s not married. She’s in her early 40’s. This particular Sunday school teacher has a seminary degree. She knows Greek and Hebrew. Professionally, she has been working as a corporate VP for a publishing company.
All of that makes her a pretty atypical pre-school teacher. She’s way over-educated for the job. Overqualified. She’s never had any kids of her own. On top of that, the last couple of years of her life have been pretty crazy, both personally and professionally.
But Jennifer treasures her time with her kids. For her, it’s often the highlight of her week. She knows that God’s word is powerful – even in the heart of a three-year-old.
It’s easy for a pastor like me to think that the people who are spending time caring for the children on a Sunday morning are basically babysitting so that real ministry can happen with the grown-ups.
I wonder how often it’s exactly the other way around. I wonder how often on Sunday morning the Holy Spirit is busier on the east side of our building than on the west side.
Some of you who are reading this have been faithfully, regularly engaging with babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged kids on Sunday mornings. You’ve sung songs, changed diapers, picked up toys, and wiped noses. Along the way, you’ve planted lots of seeds. You’ve taught kids things that the Holy Spirit will bring back to them decades from now.
You are heroes too. Just like my friend Jennifer. Thank you. Really. Thank you.
Someone has said that only God knows the number of apples in an apple seed. That’s why we keep planting. And why we keep praying for the harvest.
If you were at church last Sunday, you heard Pastor Matt announce that the New Members meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 8. Here’s the new info.
There’s still time for you to sign up. Send Matt an email right now if you’re interested in attending.
Once again, here are details about the spring Women’s Bible Study:
And here’s the info on the upcoming Women’s Fellowship:
Food is provided. Plan to come and bring a friend for a night of fellowship and fun.
Have you picked out your recipe for the upcoming Souper Bowl?
Since the beginning of the new year, have you taken any specific, proactive steps to add to your faith virtue or knowledge? In our study of 2 Peter 1, we’ve seen that we are instructed by the Apostle to supplement our faith with goodness and with knowledge. This Sunday, we’ll talk about another characteristic that should be true of us as children of God – self-control.
See you in church!
Soli Deo Gloria!