One Saturday evening, I was bringing my granddaughter, Emily, home with me to spend the weekend. I told her that I needed to work on my Sunday School plans when we got home. Emily was aware that I had taught at our church for many years. She quickly said, “What is your Bible story for tomorrow?’ I felt like she might be quizzing me, and I was glad that I could quickly tell her the title of the Bible story. Then she asked a question, a question that no one had ever asked me—How many times have you told that Bible story? I answered so quickly, it was as if had God already had the answer ready for me: I said,”Never to the children who will be there tomorrow.”
Question: How many times have you told that Bible story?
Answer: Never to the children who will be there tomorrow.
I still remember my answer to Emily’s question. I understood that she was curious about the Bible story. She must have realized that I would have told that Bible story many times. She also might have wondered why I would need to do any work to teach such a familiar Bible story. I have pondered the question, the answer, and my thoughts about telling Bible stories. I have also thought about preparing to teach Bible truths to pre-schoolers. I have been a Sunday School teacher for many years: same age group and same church for 45 years. (This is my 46th class of kindergartners.) Sometimes I smile and say that when I started teaching, I didn’t know you could quit.
Yes, I study to be a teacher in my class each week. This is my Bible study time since I don’t attend an adult Bible study class. I think about a Bible verse (not a preschool Bible verse, but one for me) that I learned many years ago—”Study to show thyself approved unto God,” ( 2 Timothy 3:15, KJV). My church approved me to teach, but my commitment to teach challenged me to want to be approved by God. To study to be ready to teach pre-schoolers on Sunday morning is as important to be now as when I taught my first Sunday. How can I teach something I do not know well? Why would I try to tell Bible stories to pre-schoolers based on previous times or on my knowledge of the Bible story? So, my reply to Emily’s question has reminded me that I need to prepare for Sunday’s Bible story as if it is a “new” story for me. It will be the first time for me to tell it to the children who will be in my class on Sunday morning. And, for some child, it might be the first time for him to ever hear the Bible story!
How many times—will I tell the familiar Bible story?
Each time it is listed as the Bible story for Sunday morning!