Why do we teach children in Sunday school? As Christians seeking to do the will of God, we can’t escape the clear command in both the Old and New Testaments to pass along our faith to a younger generation.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NRSV)
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
It’s clear that God commands his church to teach children but why do particular individuals teach? The simple answer is: they have been called.
God has equipped the church with what it needs to obey the Great Commandment by giving each of us one or more spiritual gifts. Ephesians 4:11-13 lists some of these spiritual gifts: “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”
Teachers are not glorified babysitters or doing a job that “anyone can do.” Teaching in the church is one of the most important ministries a person can do! So if you are a Sunday school teacher, rejoice in your calling and be assured that God’s spirit will guide you and equip you with all you need to fulfill your calling.