Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teaching Sunday School is Hard

I've taught most ages over the past twenty years, taking breaks occassionally to be with "adults" during the Sunday School hour. To me, the younger ones are the easiest. They accept everything with an open heart and an open mind. And no matter what question you ask, they always answer. "Because Jesus loves me." At least that seemed to be the answer to everything for a three and four-year-old.

For several years I taught sixth graders. For some reason most teachers shied away from this age but I loved it. We had great conversations and they were starting to understand the Bible and God's Word in more depth, and could see how it actually did apply to their life beyond church and in the home.

Now, I am teaching 4th graders. They are a great group of kids, but you can tell they are starting to think a little deeper. Our lesson today was how our earthly father protect us just as Joseph protected Jesus when he took him to Egypt, which moved on to how God protects us all and that by sending his Son we can all be assured of forgiveness.

Then came the question: "Where did God come from?"

I wasn't prepared and certainly not qualified to get into a deep discussion with the children, but I make an attempt. I am supposed to be the teacher, right? "God is God. He has always been and always will be." I know, it was probably a bad answer. Another child pipes up. "But he had to come from somewhere, didn't he?" The questions continued until we all decided that God is so wonderful, so powerful, so amazing that our brains cannot begin to really comprehend all that God is and all that he does for us, but because of faith we are assured of His protection and love. I also encouraged them to talk to the pastor for surely he could answer this question far better than I.

How would you answer the question?

After today I think I am ready to return to the three-year-old classroom where most questions can be answered with my favorite answer - Because Jesus Loves Me.


  1. I've taught several ages over the years, too. My favorite were the 6th graders. Like you said, they are really starting to see what God's word means in their lives. Sometimes, I think they taught me as much I taught them!

  2. Amy: I think you handled this well. We cannot explain God with our little brains.
    Because we know that everything we see comes from something else visible and tangible, we think God must be the same way. But unlike creation, HE does not have an origin. That's what eternal means: no beginning, no end. Which is what you said.
    I'm with you. Little ones are easier; they accept and believe readily. Must be why Jesus told us to become like them...
    Jen, Audience of ONE

  3. That what forms the basis of different religions how they describe God. For the Mormons we see him as the literal father of our eternal spirits with a mother in heaven. Both he and our mother have glorified bodies of flesh that has been immortalized. We come to earth to get a physical body formed by our earthly parents. We believe that as God is we can become. It is difficult to teach and handle questions. Sometimes the bible doesn't have all the answers.

  4. LazyWriter,
    You are so right. So many times I left that classroom thinking "wow, I never thought it that way".

    Thanks for the confirmation. Sometimes the questions just throw me and there is a lot of um, well, ah . . .Sometimes I wonder why I am teaching and not sitting in a class learning more myself.

    I never knew that was the Mormon belief. Thanks for sharing. I love learning new things.

  5. Actually, my four year old asked me the same thing and I said what you did, that He doesn't come from anywhere because he always is. Or something like that. LOL It's tough, but I think it's important kids know that everything doesn't have to be explained. There are plenty of things in science that scientists are still looking for answers for. It's okay for something to be so huge it's (He's) unexplainable. :-)
    I think you did an awesome job!

  6. Wow. I know he says in his word none were formed before him or will ever be. But that type of knowledge is too hard to grasp.

  7. I've taught from the toddler room up to grade 8 and each level has its challenges. WE are blessed to receive them.

    I doubt that any theologian could have answered better than you did. God is the reason the world exists, and my brain is definitely too small to comprehend all that He is and does.

  8. You answered it pretty much the way I would. God has always been there and because he is God, he doesn't have to start from anyplace. Bless you for being a teacher and doing that for those children! I never did.

  9. Last year, I taught grades 3-5 and it cracked me up! Those kids are smart! It was a very rewarding experience, but I declined to continue this year because it ate up my limited family time. I love your response to the 3-year olds!

  10. That's a good answer to the question. "It's just too much for us to comprehend." Anytime I've asked ADULTS that question, they always stammer around and end up saying, "He just WAS. He's always been there." It does hurt one's brain to try to comprehend it, doesn't it?

  11. Tough question, but shows they are thinking about what you are teaching. How would I answer? I'm not sure. Maybe that God is the biggest and best and no one had to make Him, He made everything. The real super hero.

    Hey, or something like that. I always loved the questions, otherwise you never know if they are really listening. :)

  12. Hi Amy,
    You have a very well written and interesting blog. I have added myself as a follower. I am from central Illinois too. Stop by my blog and visit sometime.