Oct 112009

Jewel attends Mission Friends on Wednesday nights at church, right after the Children’s Choir rehearses. She really enjoys her class.

Her teacher, “Ms. Elizabeth” (have I mentioned my frustration with children’s casual address of adults?), is wonderful… but now on an extended leave of absence. She also teaches preschool, and is taking a continuing education course that runs through December.

I didn’t find this out until the first week she was gone – two classes ago, when I noticed one of the Children’s Ministry staffers and one of the youth workers scrambling around in the supply cupboard, trying to put a lesson together.

Gritting my teeth, I emailed the Director and offered to take the class… as long as we could work out a few things:

  • Wolf, R.T. and I will be team teaching. As much as I want to help Jewel and the big kids, I won’t do it at R.T.’s expense.
  • We will be adding a Bible Verse memorization program, which Mission Friends does not have.
  • The Director decided it was time to take the overdue step of splitting up the class. I will have a smaller group, and only 4′s and 5′s. (The 3′s will go into a younger class, to which they will add the 2′s that were in nursery care).

By the time everything was settled it was Wendesday afternoon, and suddenly I was the one scrambling around trying to put a lesson together at the last minute.

So my first session as Mission Friends teacher was frought with challenges.

  • I was uneasy because I didn’t have everything well-prepared, well in advance. This just goes totally against my nature.
  • The kids seemed to be unaware that Ms. Elizabeth was not going to be there, and were extra goofy and rowdy with a “substitute”.
  • I am not called or gifted in the area of teaching kids. A formal classroom setting with a group of same-age kids is a world apart from educating your own children at home.
  • The “Mission Friends” curriculum would not be my choice. It lacks a memorization component, which I think is essential. I also think (and watching thm last week reinforced this) that at this age kids need more emphasis on loving one another, obeying, Jesus loves me, and helping in tangible local ways… not hearing about strange people (the missionaries!) in strange places – abstract concepts that aren’t really getting through.


And of course, it’s a biggie.

There is nobody else.

If I/we don’t take the class, they will struggle through the next nine weeks with an assortment of the teenagers paid as nursery help trying to make it up as they go.

I’m working on the theory that

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

I hope this holds true even if I am only “called” by necessity, rather than a spiritual calling.

This week will be better…

  • Scripture memory chart laid out
  • “Classroom Rules” chart prepared
  • Craft and snacks arranged and prepped
  • No lag time for bored kids to drift off
  • Pray for me!

  One Response to “Not My Calling, But…”

  1. I know it’s not easy, but I appreciate you taking this group. Levi has not been thrilled with Mission Friends lately, but I think he’s just thinking that he’s old enough to be out of the nursery and into the older kid class. I had thought of filling in or taking over, but I’m working elsewhere that hour and not feeling called out of one into the other at this time. And, the funny thing is that I’m a preschool person…totally…and I’m working with the youth!! Teenagers….agh!! lol I’m soooo not a teen person. I guess God knows what He’s doing, putting us in areas to “stretch” us. You’ll do great! And, again, thanks! :-)

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