The following is a testimony by Ashley Clarke, who teaches a preschool Sunday School class at Thompson Station Baptist Church. She shared this with the church in a recent Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Sunday. Thanks Ashley for sharing your story…I am sure that it will inspire others:
Being raised in the church I had many Sunday School teachers who took an interest in my spiritual life and helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord. One of my fondest teachers was a beautiful, special woman who had a huge impact on my Christian walk. Ora Duke who then taught 8th grade girls now teaches babies here. She is a wonderful example of a servant. It is such an encouragement to me as a new Sunday School teacher to see her heart for service.
Teaching Sunday school has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I love it for many reasons. The children are awesome. They are all so sweet, fun, and energetic and I truly enjoy getting to know each one of them. Getting to know the parents is also a blessing. Taking care of their children while many of them serve is amazing. It is wonderful to think about the extraordinary things God is doing in each family.
However, all of these things are just icing on the cake. Serving God by taking care of his children has deepened my relationship with Him in so many ways. I feel such a peace to be doing what He wants me to. Every week I get the privilege to serve Him. I am honored to be a small part of His awesome plan.
When I was first approached about teaching Sunday School I had some reservations. Could I teach? I’d never taught before. How good could I possibly be? Would I miss my adult Sunday School class I had been sitting in for way too long? How would it be having to commit to something every single week. I have to say that the Lord took care of all my concerns as soon as I said yes to His calling.
The Lord took my willingness to teach and transformed it into the ability to teach. The lesson plans are simple and fun. More importantly, loving the children has created a bond that makes them feel more comfortable, even happy about coming to church. What more could you ask for from a young two year old.
Next came my greatest concern – the loss of fellowship with other adults. Boy did I limit God on that one. I thought by not attending adult connect group every Sunday that I would feel left out and unconnected. I was wrong. Teaching has provided me with so many new connections and friends. Fellow teachers, parents of the children, and of course the incredible preschool staff have been wonderful getting to know. I still attend social events with my connect group and have never felt left out of anything. This church is great at helping people get involved and stay connected. They offer so many classes and studies at all different times during the week that it is easy to be spiritually fed if you just sign up for one.
Finally the commitment. It was a big one. Every week. What if we get sick or go out of town? Philippians 2:13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” For me teaching Sunday School has been a testament to that verse. I can honestly say that I always look forward to the time I get to spend with these children serving Him. I know that once a week, for about an hour I am exactly where He wants me to be, doing what he wants me to do and I love it.