2019.09.10 – It’s Been Such A Long Time…

This post actually contains two parts: the before and after…

(Before) Captain’s log: Stardate 2019.09.06. This Sunday I will begin teaching a Sunday school class for the senior high youth. This is the first time I will be consistently working with teens in 20 years. The last time I worked with youth over an extended time was in my home church before I went to seminary. (it was still the 20th Century)

Back then I was simply an adult member of the church who loved Jesus and cared for the kids of the church (mine were very little then). I relied on skills that I had learned in the late 80s when I was Biology and Science Education major, and a short stint as a middle school science teacher.

The ministry was challenging because in my mid-thirties I found that the kids I was working with were twenty years younger than me and saw the world differently. (If you do the math, those kids are now about 35 years old; they were the up and coming Millennials!)

Now I face the challenge of sitting in a room trying to teach kids about 42, who were born in a post “9/11” world, and I am soon to be fifty four years old. Back then, I had trouble being relevant to 14 year olds, and now I work to be relevant to 34 year olds. And yet the Spirit of 42 has led me to work with 14-17 year olds (Generation Z) this fall.

Am I a little nervous? You betcha! Am I excited? You betcha.

After all; It’s been such a long time…

This is me circa the year 2000. Yes I had some hair, but I guess I was already starting to gray in the beard and sideburns. I was approximately the age that the kids I taught back then would be now. Yikes!

(After) Captain’s log: Stardate 2019.09.09. Well, I survived my first week! It’s definitely going to take me some time to get my sea legs. They are a mix of confident Seniors to insecure or shy Freshmen.

Some seemed eager to please, and even seemed to over process when asked a question. Others needed prodding and sometimes prying. It struck me that they are not unlike adults I have worked with through the years.

Their worlds are a little smaller than adults I am used to. They come from two different high schools, vary in maturity and confidence, and don’t really know one another. I need to help them find commonality.

Not a bad start, and we all appeared to survive.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity… Titus 2:7 esv


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