A few weeks ago I led a Sunday School (SS) orientation. What a joy to connect with our SS teachers and a few students. That night we were reminded through Deuteronomy 6:4-9 that our calling as SS teachers is to love God deeply (to nurture our souls), so that we can help our students love God and keep his commands. I’m thankful for our current SS teachers. Each one has unique talents and appropriate gifts to bring to the classroom. I’m also thankful for my former SS teachers. Please allow me to tell you about a few of them. Mrs. Brown was a great story teller. Back then we used flannelboards instead of videos, and although the images weren’t digital, she made Bible stories come to life. Mrs. Sanders loved to sing and play the accordion, so every Sunday morning we sang classic Bible songs like “Jesus Loves Me.” I still know those songs! Mr. Pierce had a great sense of humour. We laughed a lot. He made learning Bible stories a lot of fun. Mr. Zult taught junior high SS. He taught me how to read Scripture and pray. So you see, I’m the product of many godly and committed SS teachers. And perhaps you are too. Did you attend Sunday School? If so, who were your teachers? Whoever they were, please join me in thanking God for them. SS teachers often go unnoticed and unappreciated. But they are frontline disciple makers, and I thank God for them.
Last weekend we attended a family camp at Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp near Coleman, AB. This is an annual event for us, an annual spiritual retreat. We always enjoy this gathering. I always go away feeling spiritually and physically renewed—thanks be to God! But there was one thing in particular that struck me this time: the way this camp works together. Every “camper” is expected to serve. Every family is expected to do daily chores. Many of us were involved in worship leading. And the leadership is shared among many people. It struck me: this is a healthy body of Christ in action. To be sure, this camp has its share of challenges. Every organization does. But it has learned to work together in a way that many churches do not. It has learned to be an interdependent body of Christ. Everyone equipped and empowered to serve. People using their gifts and abilities to build up the body of Christ. As a result, God was glorified and the people were encouraged in the faith. I wonder what we can learn from Crow Camp (and other camps like it) about how to be a more interdependent body of Christ? What are your gifts and abilities, and how can you use them to build up the body of Christ at your church? What is your ministry calling? Bottom line: everyone in a church family should be involved in a ministry. What is yours? If you’re not sure, then please talk to your pastor or one of your elders, and I’m sure they’d be glad to help you discern God’s will in this regard. Thank you for using your gifts and abilities to build up the Body of Christ this year.