I had a powerful Sunday School lesson this morning for my high school class on the atoning sacrifice of Christ from John 6. At least, the potential to be very powerful. It was an interactive lesson. My 17 year old daughter called it reactive – meaning you had to react to it. It was full of object lessons and visual imagery. I was prepared. I was ready. I even told my husband it might be one of the most memorable lessons I had ever taught that class.
My class walked away from my classroom inspired and pumped, ready to do God’s calling. Yet it wasn’t because of anything I said during my planned lesson. My wonderfully awesome lesson ended early and I told my group of teenagers I wouldn’t be there the next Sunday, because I’m going to Arizona to visit my dying grandfather. Instead, the substitute teacher will speak about his recent mission trip to Honduras.
“What is a mission trip?” asked the student who takes the role of the class clown.
We spent the rest of the hour, talking about mission trips: what they are, what they cost, how God will provide, what you do during a mission trip, where we could go, the dangers Christians face in other countries and what we, as a group would need to do to prepare ourselves to go. When I asked who would be interested in going on a mission trip as a team, almost every hand shot up.
It was a divine opportunity, a moment engineered by the Spirit of God. The only thing I did was recognize the moment for what it was. Planning is still important. Well crafted lessons will still inspire, motivate and move. Only God knows what those kids are doing with the information on Christ’s death that I presented this morning. Yet, as teachers Inside The Classroom, we also need to be ready for that unexpected question, that turning of subjects. It’s easy to brush those questions off or ignore those unexected moments because “they aren’t part of my lesson plan.” Instead, we need to consider that maybe, just maybe, God knows far better than we do what our students are ready to hear and we need to follow His leading.