Each Sunday morning, at morning church I take the creche class for Sunday school. I have 6 gorgeous little people from 18months to 5 years, who I get to teach every week.
Early on in the week I will read through the lesson for next Sunday. The lesson material we are using is aimed at a slightly older age group so through the week it's always at the back of my mind as I think about how to change it a bit so the story is not so wordy, and their are opportunities for the children to participate (like little songs to reinforce the message, or having actions to go with the story).
Then I think about my favourite part - the craft. I like to have something fun at the beginning of the lesson when the children come in to help the separation from Mum and Dad, and it's normally a prop which we use in the story. After the story we make something which reinforces the main idea.
I love making the craft, but it does take up alot of time to get them ready. Often I have to buy extra bits and pieces. Then I have to get the materials ready for 6 replicas of each craft (and 2 extra in case we have visitors).
If the Sunday school lesson goes well; the kids are engaged, they seem to get the main point, they have fun, I go home pretty happy.
But then I go back to church for the night service, and when we go down to the hall for supper I see our crafts abandoned all around the hall.
And that hurts.
To see all the parts of the lesson which I worked so hard on just left around like rubbish. I feel like all the work I do is for nothing, and I feel unapreciated
It makes me think that maybe I shouldn't bother coming up with fun crafts because it doesn't matter what I do, they'll just be left behind.
But then I remembered that the craft is not the most important part of what I am doing. What is more important is the foundations I am helping to build within the children for their faith.
Chances are the kids won't remember the puppets we made, or the paintings we did, or the collages we made. But I hope they will remember the things I taught them about God; His power, His love, His judgement, His grace and His mercy.