Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 Things I learned in Bible School

Way back when I thought Youth Ministry was going to be my calling in life, I started reading the works of Robert Fulghum who most notably wrote, "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten". Robert has a way of boiling down what so many people see as complicated and cumbersome. Reflecting on the innocent days of yester-year, he sums life up into several small reminders that he learned when he was just 5 years old.

Some of his jewels were:

  • When crossing the street, hold hands.
  • Share. Remember, everyone wants a turn.
  • Say you're sorry.
  • Take a nap in the afternoon.

I enjoyed how he simplified life's lessons so perfectly and it made me believe I could do the same when relating the Christian life to a bunch of teenagers.

Upon discovering that Fulghum gave up on church and religion as a whole, however, I was advised by my supervising instuctor to choose another source of literary inspiration. While my focus went elsewhere to find more spiritual writings, I couldn't help but appreciate Robert's style. So what if he didn't like God or believe in Jesus, his words were no less true about our human experience here on earth and how we should treat others.

So, inspired by Robert Fulghum, I have come up with this list of ten things I experienced in Bible School. My snipits have a more "churchy" twist to them obviously but they still follow the basic principle of reaching back from yester-year to pull forward some pearls of wisdom. These pearls just happen to come from the gates of seen by a kid who grew up going to church all his life.


1. "Jesus Loves Me" only has one verse. If you are an older kid, then you get to learn the second verse. Only during a song service on Sunday night will you get to sing the ultra-secret third verse.

2. I have no idea how Paul, Peter, and Jesus stick to the flannel board because Lord knows it isn't Velcro.

3. If you want to be popular, get first, second, or third place on the attendance chart! Get any lower than that and you might as well be eating paste with Jeremy in the corner.

4. Your real teacher is the one you have on Sunday mornings. Pay no attention to the lady in your class on Wednesday nights.

5. You're not allowed to play after church up there where the preacher stands. It's holy.

6. Puppets are cool unless your teacher is 75 and suffers from short term memory loss. Then, it's a lesson in endurance.

7. If mom drags you out of class angry and shouting, she'll bring you back red and sniffing.

8. There is no use protesting when Kelly gets a Bible sticker on the chart even though all she brought was her New Testament.

9. The first song you learn to harmonize to is "Blue Skies and Rainbows".

10. Visitors are like Santa Claus. You believe in them even though you've never seen them.


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