Wealth beyond counting is the gift bestowed upon me by the many people who taught me about Jesus. I’ve been very blessed to have learned to love and follow Christ from humble, gentle, loving people. Most of them had no formal theological training, let alone college, but they helped me learn to know and love Jesus. They were not perfect, they had foibles and sorrows, but they more than counterbalanced them by their love for Christ and their commitment to ensuring that children came to new life in Christ.
What I find most astounding is that it is the example of their lives that impacted me, because I certainly don’t recall their specific lessons. The fact that they cared enough to carve out time to prepare and work with children and teens in the church nurtured me and communicated that my life mattered. Some taught Sunday School to toddlers when they themselves were in their seventies. Some opened their homes for after-school Good News Bible clubs every week. Others used curriculum purchased by the church to provide a more systematic approach to the lessons. Many volunteered and cooperated to put on annual Vacation Bible Schools. And then, in my teen years, some acted as chauffeurs driving teenagers to various Christian events or just picking them up and bringing them to church. The one consistent and outstanding truth was that these people were committed to seeing kids become believers in Christ.
In the years since growing up, every bit of training built upon the foundations laid by otherwise ordinary folks who loved Jesus enough to love me and invest in making church understandable and accessible to me. They were the people who said “yes” when asked. They were the people who came to serve rather than be served. And they were the people who took their confidence from relying on God instead of on their own training and readiness.
Satan is after children and youth like never before. But God uses people who care enough to be inconvenienced to teach the kids. I’m reminded of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Almost everyone was hungry and looking to be fed, but one boy with only two loaves and five fishes stepped up and offered what seemed staggeringly paltry to meet the need of that day. The boy did not say, “I can’t help because I don’t have enough.” He shared, and in Jesus’ hands, the beggarly fixings became a feast of overflowing abundance. I’m not particularly talented at speaking in terms children understand, but I love kids, so I want to do my part to step up and pass on the faith. God is more than able to take my pittance of skill and use it mightily. Could you also consider if you are willing to give Jesus what you have, little or lot, to ensure that the current generation of kids has heroes of the faith to influence them for the good?
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.