Growing up a pastor’s daughter, I have been fortunate to have never known a season when Sunday School was not part of my life. However, about 12 years ago, I experienced Sunday school in a new way when the Body of Christ tangibly showed me what engagement in each other’s lives really meant.
I was involved in a class of young marrieds/young families when I had two preschoolers and made the decision to leave an abusive marriage. Subsequently, I felt I no longer ‘fit’ in that group of friends and made the decision to leave. The next Sunday or two, I floated around and Jim Fleming, my Sunday school teacher, caught me in the hall and asked why I was searching for a new class. As I explained that I felt I didn’t belong there anymore as a soon-to-be single woman in the process of a divorce, Jim assured me I would always be welcome. Our class was more than just couples and families doing life together; we were believers seeking Christ together. Needless to say, I was relieved. The parents in my class were my friends. We were raising our children together, and I saw most of the women in the group two to three times per week outside of the church building. Within just a few weeks of rejoining that class, that body demonstrated to me the love of Christ and the encouragement and strength we receive from being engaged in Sunday school.
One Sunday evening, my estranged husband showed up at church, in spite of a restraining order. However, I hadn’t shared all the details with many people, and the men in the lobby weren’t aware of the situation. They didn’t know to stop him as he proceeded through the building to the nursery, intent on taking my girls. As I sat in the sanctuary, I received a page and a simultaneous tap on the shoulder from a nursery worker and was apprised of what was occurring in the back. Terrified and already shaking at the confrontation I knew was coming, I hurriedly whispered to my best friend what was happening. Her husband, my SS teacher and two other men in the class beat me to the nursery area. They confronted the situation and reminded him of the restraining order with the court’s ruling stating I had full custody, and he had no unsupervised visits. They stood the line for me, and he eventually left the building. After the tense situation was over and I stopped shaking, Jim said to me, “Ecclesiastes 4:12.” We had studied Ecclesiastes 4:12 in Sunday school in the weeks leading up to this incident.
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
To me, being connected in Sunday school provides relationships where strength, courage and ‘family’ can stand in the gap when we are being overpowered and not feeling strong or courageous. Sometimes that looks like praying for each other. Other times, it may be about providing meals when someone is sick. Or, maybe, it will be about standing with another, confronting what we are afraid of together.
Are you Connected?
If not, it is my sincere hope you Get Connected with a Sunday School class and develop deeper relationships with the ‘family’ God provides for us through His Son.
Don’t have that connection yet? How do we connect?
Just one step at a time…
- Make a commitment to try a new Sunday School class for the next four weeks.
- Ask someone in your Sunday School to share a meal with you.
- Send a note of encouragement to someone in your class.
- Keep showing up.