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How long does a Sunday School teacher's impact last?  

How long does a Sunday School teacher’s impact last?

As a first-grader, it was riveting watching the Sunday School teacher stick images of Bible characters on a flannel graph.  There was just something about “seeing” Joseph and his coat of many colors. Or Daniel in the lions’ den.  The mischievous me admits to chuckling at the figures when they occasionally tumbled off the felt board.  But those stories somehow came alive (my wife, a preschool teacher, tells me that even in an age of iPads, kids still adore flannel graph stories).

Around the second or third grade, I recall Mrs. Patterson inviting our entire Sunday School class over for a party at her house. Great food, games, and fun.  What kid wouldn't love that?  I still remember it half a century later.

How long does a Sunday School teacher’s impact last?  Well, it was a Sunday School teacher who reached out to my unsaved father, visiting with him week after week for nearly 18 months before Dad finally came to Christ.  And that was more than 60 years ago.

Recently, I bought a book on eBay written by Charles Spurgeon titled, John Ploughman's Talk.  Inside the front cover, I found this inscription written in a red pencil:

“Present from my Sunday School teacher and schoolmate, John B. Thomas. 

Christmas, 1897.” 

It was signed by R.S. Diehl.  Who can tell what kind of impact this Sunday School teacher’s gift made on young Diehl?  Maybe the book fired him with an unquenchable love for the Savior.  Or maybe it kept him from choosing godless paths.  Heaven will reveal all.

Meanwhile, 123 years after the giving of this gift, I hold the evidence of Mr. Thomas' generosity in my hand.  And no doubt, his thoughtful gesture will be a blessing in my life, too!

How long does a Sunday School teacher’s impact last?

         Years. 

         Decades. 

         And likely—more often than we could ever imagine—all of eternity.

That’s how long.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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