I spent this week preparing for my Bible class that was scheduled for today. The class was for infants and toddlers and we were going to learn about the Birth of Jesus. I studied the Scripture and prepared the classroom.
We would start with a welcome time and then I would show them all sorts of animal families. We would look at toy ducks, cows and puppies and talk about Mummy, Daddy and Babies. Then I would tell the story of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. I even prepared a little craft with Jesus in a manger. We would end the class by giving cuddles to baby dolls and rocking them to sleep. Everything was ready.
I knew I would not have many students but today…only one child showed up.
Only one child. People who are used to having lots of children in Bible Class might have questioned whether it is worth teaching if only one child turned up for class. For many of us who are with small churches this situation might happen quite often.
In the years that I have been a Bible Class Teacher there is one important thing that I have realised. I have realised that I am not here to TEACH A CLASS. A class is impersonal. A class is just a group of children. No, my calling is not to simply “teach a class”. My honour and privilege is to SHARE CHRIST WITH EACH CHILD. I will share Christ whether I have one student or ten.
What’s the difference between teaching a class and sharing Christ?
- If I’m teaching a class then I am disappointed that only one child attends. If I am sharing Christ then I see it as an opportunity to spend one-on-one time getting to know the heart of that child so that I can build a better relationship with him or her.
- If I’m teaching a class then one child is not worth my effort. If I’m sharing Christ then it is my pleasure to do whatever it takes to help that child get to know my precious friend, Jesus.
- If I’m teaching a class then one child is not worth my time. If I’m sharing Christ then it is not “my” time at all. God has granted me golden moments to affect a life for an eternity and I do not want to waste any of those moments pining for some false version of his will that I have created for myself.
- If I’m teaching a class then one child would be a waste of a good lesson. If I am sharing Christ then I know that my attitude IS the lesson. I want the child to know that I have a personal relationship with God and so can they. Even when I am all alone I talk to God and he gives me his full attention. If God can give me his full attention then I can give mine to one child.
- If I’m teaching a class then I think God needs large numbers to do his work. If I am sharing Christ then it is because I believe in the all-sufficiency of Christ. God has plans for this child beyond anything I can imagine.
So back to today’s Bible Class for infants and toddlers. Just one little child but I tried my best to share Christ with him. We held our bibles and turned the pages. He found the sticker inside the bible’s cover that has a picture of Jesus. We sang about the bible. And then, when his mother and I least expected it…he said in a clear voice and with a proud smile on his face, “BIBLE”.
So I got to experience a small step in a journey of a lifetime. Today, I had only one student. Today, I shared Christ with a child.