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Thursday, 19 October 2006

Am i a teacher or entertainer? Depth or interesting

Albert and I teach the teenagers ( age 10-14) in the church about Jesus and Christianity while their parents attend the Sunday Church service. Since we are also very involved in the adult service, on average, we only teach once a month.

All the teachers had a meeting over dinner over Mr and Mrs S house. We discussed about the issues of teaching the children and the special relational element with the children, especially in my group, age 10-14. Then we discussed about the content of our teaching. All 4 teachers are given a computer software, www.ilumina.com which has all the resources for bible teaching. But, we never sat down and discuss the theme or topic for each lesson, who is doing what, etc. There was no communication about what was taught by other teacher the previous week. Hence, if I were to teach this coming Sunday, I have no idea what has been taught so far. It’s too “free”. No communication between teachers. I don't like it.

Another of my concern is our individually design lessons may be lacking of depth. Do the lessons feed their spiritual soul and able to sustain them in the face of crisis later? Are the biblical teaching robust enough? Do they know the Word of God and know how to apply to their lives?

Both of Mrs B daugthers are in my class. She commented straightaway that it’s not the content, the crucial bit is

a) not to bore them
b) to make the lesson as interesting as possible
c) have a close bond with them

I was annoyed with her comment. Is she implying that I am boring the children? My classes have always been a dialogue, not monologue and I always played an ice-breaking game in the beginning. Is she saying that the biblical teaching is not important? I have to work harder in making the class more interesting like dressing like a clown? Has my role as a teacher changed to “entertainer” ?

I was boiling. I told her I agreed with her and I don’t. Yes, we have to make the class interesting,Yes we have to spend more time building up a rapport with the teenagers and No to her statement that content is not important. She said that some of teenagers in my group has complicated family background and we must do more than just teaching. She said that some teenager in my group approached her imply that there’s problems with the teachers ( ie me, albert and two others) Of course I know I have to bond with them. That was an understatement. But I am not like her, a mum and only serve in children ministry.

Albert and I are supporting other ministries in the church, like PA, worship leading, pianist, sermon translator Plus children ministry. If she has the time and capacity, plus the teenager approach her instead of the teacher ( she teaches a younger group of children) when they have problems, why doesn’t she volunteer herself to teach my group of teenagers while I teach the younger children? Don’t like the way she raise this issue. It’s as if I am not doing anything? *Har* (slang)

Coincidentally, the following Sunday, we took our teenagers to another church, to expose them to other church. They joined the Sunday school after the main worship session.
I asked them in the end of the service what they learnt. They told me they didn’t learnt much, most of the time they were chatting about which boy fancy which girl, some played games, some learn how to dance. * WHAT* ? I couldn’t believe my ears. You mean all those took place on a Sunday, in a church?

What happen to bible teaching? Learning from the failure of the characters in the bible? What happen to the teaching of Jesus?

Is this what Mrs S want for her daughters? To make the class as interesting as possible and not to bother too much about the content? If that is what she meant, I’m afraid I can’t take on this “entertainer” role at all.

Having said all that, albert and I have decided to let go of other ministry, and I have made it clear to the leader not to put me on the pianist, sermon translater and worship leading rota. I want to concentrate and invest in those teenagers. This is the crucial period. A lot of them leave the church during this stage of their life.

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