I had the most amazing experience in Sunday school today.
I was raised in church and Sunday school. I have taught Sunday school off and on since I was 15. I love teaching, but sometimes it gets a little old because I teach children who have been in church since they were babies. They've heard all the stories so many times they could probably teach the lesson themselves. Even the application is old to them.
Today was different. Today we had a visitor, an 8-year-old girl who had never been in Sunday school before, ever. Our lesson was on creation, and the all-powerful God Who created everything. This was all new to her. She was astounded, incredulous, awed, by the whole idea. While the other three girls in my class were maybe a little bored, had all the answers, and tried to teach the lesson themselves, this girl asked questions, said things like "Cool!!!" and asked, over and over, "But HOW did God do that?" "You mean He just said it, and it was there?" "So God is sort of like magic?"
Then, right toward the end, when I didn't have any more time left, the subject of sin came up, and how sin keeps us from heaven. We described what sin is, and listed some examples (disobedience, lying, stealing, etc.). This girl asked, "But what if you only do that ONCE?"
Oh, for more time! At that point I wished I could have dismissed the others so I could talk to her alone. Instead, I told her that next week's lesson will be about Adam and Eve and how sin came into the world. We would talk more about sin and salvation then. I gave her a Bible and a Sunday school assignment paper, showed her where to read for her assignment, and told her how much we'd like to have her come back. I also invited her to Bible Club Friday nights, and she sounded excited about that.
Later, I talked to her father. He is the kind of parent that believes there should come a time in every child's life when she is exposed to religion, and then allowed to make her own choice about it. We had an "interesting" conversation that really didn't go anywhere. But I encouraged him to keep bringing his daughter back, that we'd love to have them come again, and told him about Bible Club. He said he hoped to come back.
Please pray for this family. A brother was mentioned during Sunday school, but no word was said about a mother. The father said he was raised by parents and a grandmother who went to church and were "very religious." I do not know what he meant by that. Pray that the father will take seriously his responsibility to train his daughter in true religion. Also pray that his daughter will put pressure on him to bring her back.
While you in the USA are praying, pray for cold, dead, Canada which cannot tolerate on-fire, living followers of Christ. This little girl is the product of a system that did away with God a long time ago. There are so many more children like her all over our city and nation. Bible Clubs and Sunday schools are reaching a few, but we need the power of God upon us.