It was 5th grade. We started out with about 25 kids in class each Sunday..we ended with about 5. We had been together for most of our short lives. Next thing we knew…we were 11 year old terrorists. Shooting spit balls at poor Mr. Augustus‘ 900 year old bald head. I still remember that poor kid who fell asleep with his chair leaned up against the wall. The one spark of fun in class was when we kicked it out from the wall and he came crashing down. Everyone woke up from their daze…momentarily.
This was the early 1980’s when most SBC churches had Education Pastors rather than Children’s Pastors. Their job was to keep a teacher in the Sunday School classes.That’s exactly what ours did.
I’m pretty sure Mr. Augustus taught 5th graders for some 40 years before he finally died. Why? He may have loved the kids…we didn’t know it because we never talked to him. Actually, he never talked to us either. Each Sunday he would gently open up the quarterly, bend his head forward and begin to read. He never said anything when we renegade kids shot the spitballs and they stuck to his head (yep, not looking forward to answering for that one day!). When they fell off the bare scalp onto his book…he’d look up, gently wipe them away and continue reading.
Kid’s lives are short in that, they are only kids for a little while. I wonder how many of those classmates never came back to church because they begged their parents not to go as 5th graders. I want kids dragging their parents to church because the Kids Pastor and teachers speak their language, speak directly to them, and they are learning to apply Scripture to their lives AS KIDS.
I wish there had been a retirement party. It probably wouldn’t have been forced either. He was already 900 years old. Maybe nobody else would step up. Are there teacher holes at your church? Maybe YOU should step up.
Children’s Pastor at Idlewild Baptist Church