The Forgotten Step-child

Teaching and prayer go together

Teaching is what Jesus did — they called him rabbi — day after day. He taught publicly, privately, and in impromptu settings. He never said that one place of teaching was better than another. He met with people in multiple formats because disciple making was his goal. With that being said, why do we choose to ignore the older adult Sunday school classes in our church?


Week after week, three to ten seniors meet in the parlor. Most pastors leave them be, unless the room is needed for some other purpose. When the saint who has taught them for forty years dies, we secretly hope that the class will get buried along with him. Instead they send a representative to our office, saying, we need a teacher.


If for a moment, we shift our perspective to see the church as a place where all people are nurtured by the Holy Spirit, then we’ll grasp the value of this little group. Our role will be two-fold. First, to observe how prayer happens in that group. Should we step in and teach them how to pray? Can they teach us something about prayer? Second, to discern with this group how they can continue to be nurtured in the faith. It may be that they should join another class. Or, it may be that they have a vital role as a location of prayer in the church and need to receive someone they can love into the role of teacher.