As a Sunday school teacher for youth, it’s a fact that I learn from my kids as much as they learn from me. In an effort to include everyone in the learning, I invite everyone to take on a role. When I asked who wanted to lead our prayer at the beginning of class, one student raised their hand without hesitation. This is what was said…
“Dear Lord, help me to not fall asleep in church today.”
A chuckle caught in my throat. I’m sure many of us can relate to that young child’s prayer request. I just never thought to verbalize the statement as a prayer.
After the prayer ended, another young student said, “Y’all pray a lot at this church.”
It was a teachable moment. My response was, “Yes we do.” We proceeded to have a discussion about prayer and worship and how they work together. The lesson for me was learning to meet a child at their level of learning/readiness for certain information.
My discussion with the youth reminded me of an article I wrote for annarbor.com several years ago. The article pointed out that prayer is communication, it does not have to be elaborate, nor does it require a special occasion.
When kids go to church they need to make connections just as adults do. It begins with making them feel welcome and letting them know that they can make a difference. Kids discover connections through the simplest things. When we’ve discussed a favorite movie, or outing in class, the flood gates of chatter began. Kids found that they liked some of the same things.
My class is comprised of six, seven and eight year-olds. As we were reading the lesson one Sunday and discussing the contents, one student was distractedly flipping pages of his book and looking around the room. Another student looked at him and said, “Are you even paying attention?” It was interesting how one student held the other accountable.
Kids! I love their honesty.
Have you had any humorous experiences with kids in church?