When a Sunday School Teacher Has an Emergency, Part 1

Monday 9th January, 2017
Sunday, the wife of our class teacher had a setback following surgery. In Part 1 of this post, I share how I responded. In Part 2, I want to share options for response when the teacher cannot be there at the last minute.
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Yesterday, on our way to church, my wife received a text from Leesa. Leesa is our Sunday School director's wife. Buster wanted me to know that the wife of our class teacher had a setback following surgery. Mike needed to be with her. They were trying to determine whether to take her to the emergency room.

Our church recently pulled several of our faithful substitute teachers into leadership as teachers. That means we have a small shortage of prepared, roving adult substitutes at the moment. I am one of a couple of substitutes for our class, so that is the reason our Sunday School director contacted me.

In Part 1 of this post, I share how I responded. In Part 2, I want to share options for response when the teacher cannot be there at the last minute. My personal response began with prayer for Mike and Nancy, the class, and the lesson. I have to admit I had not read the lesson and was completely unprepared. The week had been filled with helping our youngest son, his wife, and our granddaughter move into our basement to prepare our son for a new job that began today.

Buster, our Sunday School director, did not draft me to teach at the last minute; he simply informed me and allowed me to decide what would happen. My wife and I attend worship before Sunday School. So I began to review the lesson's scripture passage before worship and during the early moments of worship. I did so in a continuous attitude of prayer. I quickly sensed  an important theme in the passage that needed to be understood and practiced. In fact, I heard it in every verse. The passage came alive.

So what was lacking? I had no time to develop a lesson plan. But I had a message and a passion about that message. And I recognized its relevance for the class. After worship, I made my way to the classroom and prepared the space, prayed, and began welcoming the class. Some began to ask if the baby had been born. Mike and his wife are expecting their first grandchild this week, but I had to tell them that Nancy had a setback.

While we were waiting for class to start, I asked if there were any announcements. A couple were shared, and then I asked if there were any contacts with members or guests. Several were reported.

Because we were going to start in prayer for Mike and Nancy, another class (taught by a teacher who went out of our class) came to join us for prayer. At class time, I told the entire group what little we knew and called them to pray in clumps. We huddled in groups of 4-5 and prayed. After most had finished, I closed in prayer. I thanked the other class for joining us.

Then I asked our class a critical question about what God wants most from us. I believe the prayer time opened up the class for more discussion because I received many great answers. I affirmed their responses and focused upon God's desire for relationship as we looked verse by verse through the passage in Psalm 119. I asked lots of questions.

By class end, I believe we all recognized God's desire for relationship and our need to adjust our lives to that expectation. But I have to admit that without appropriate preparation time, application time with not well prepared. We closed in prayer for the class, the lesson, and Mike and Nancy.

What have you done when a teacher has an emergency right before class? Press Comments below and share your stories. In Part 2, I will address some options beyond what happened in my story. In all you do, make disciples! Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about teaching, check out these posts:

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