Monday, April 14, 2014

Lenten Project: Day Thirty-five

We used to have lots of kids' clubs for spiritual instruction in Grenada.  Not only did our mom teach all the boys and girls, but we kids, especially me and my sister Mary, were teachers.  We'd walk through a village and invite all the kids we saw on the street playing cricket to come on out to our kids' club under the mango tree up the road every week. Dozens of kids would come regularly, and we eventually started having these in our church, or in the other IFB churches on the island.

We used Kings Kids curriculum in Grenada because it was cheaper than Awana, plus it was KJV-only (even though we weren't--yeah, I never quite understood it either).  We had flannel graph, of course, and lots of stories of missionaries or kids who almost died, but got miraculously saved at the last minute.

Because I had to be a teacher, I was supposed to always have all the spiritual answers. But I didn't.  I could lead the songs (Stop! And let me tell you... and My God is so Big and Who's the King of the Jungle?) with lots of enthusiasm. Tell the stories using all the voices so that the kids were hanging off the edges of their seats, anxious to hear what would happen next.  I could lead kids to the Lord using the Wordless Book faster than Dad could shimmy up a coconut tree.  But in my heart I had so many questions and doubts that I felt like nothing but a faker.

There was little room in our ministry for a daughter who wanted to ask tough questions or be free to reject what she didn't believe.  I knew better than to rock the boat too much, because when I did, the whole island erupted.  And my questions never did get answered. So I learned to just keep on teaching, keep on leading songs, keep on acting out missionary stories during storytelling, and turn off my brain.

In Singapore, I was a Sunday School teacher.  Just a teenager, teaching other kids.  Nowadays I get uncomfortable with the very idea of untrained Sunday School teachers, and I prefer that my kids' church class leaders all have background checks and lots of training.