By Lynn Jones
Churches all over our area are having Vacation Bible School this summer. The rooms and hallways that generally stand quiet during the week are buzzing with sounds and activities.
I heard of a mother who was registering her small, rambunctious son for Bible school. As she filled out the card, she entered his name, address, age, etc. Finally, at the bottom of the card there was a space called “Remarks.” She wrote in the space, “Brace yourselves.” I’m grateful for many teachers and workers who are willing to brace themselves.
Dick Van Dyke said that if he were looking for a children’s Bible teacher he would run the following ad, “Wanted: Teacher. Must have the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the courage of David. Must teach like Paul, lead like Moses, and stay cool under fire like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” The same qualifications are needed for a teacher in Vacation Bible School. No one bats a thousand in every category, but I am grateful for those who have a high batting average and do a great job.
Teachers make an impact on their students in various ways. Someone has said that a mediocre teacher tells; a good teacher explains; a superior teacher demonstrates; and a great teacher inspires.
Perhaps it is the last quality that has the greatest impact upon the lives of students. The teachers that I remember the most are those who inspired me. I do not remember offhand many of the facts that they taught me, but I remember the feeling that I had as I sat in their classes.
As students are touched and inspired, something important can begin to take place in their lives. In talking about her own spiritual pilgrimage, Virginia Stem Owens reflected on her childhood faith. She said, “I had fed on my family’s faith as a germinating sprout feeds on the stored starches in the seed.” At some point, however, a sprout must put down roots, spread its own leaves, and begin to grow and mature. That’s what children have to do with their faith. They cannot live forever on the reservoirs of faith that their parents have given them. They must make that critical transition to a faith of their own. It is our hope and prayer that in the coming weeks, many of the children in our churches will do that.
I heard of a mother who was asking her pediatrician for advice on how to be a good parent for her three small children. She asked, “When should I put them to bed at night?” He replied, “While you still have strength to do it.” May the Lord give His blessing and strength to those who teach children in Vacation Bible School this summer. Who knows how many lives of children all across our area will be touched and changed!
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.