Her name was Mrs. Hess. She was the first Bible teacher in my life.
I think I was in the first grade, an unchurched kid from an unchurched home. One afternoon each week at the end of the school day I went to my friend Dan’s house, along with a half-dozen other kids from our school. At Dan’s house, Mrs. Hess conducted an after-school Bible class.
There’s a lot I do not remember. I do not remember how I got enrolled in that class. I don’t know what the relationship was between Mrs. Hess and Dan’s family. I don’t know where she went to church. I don’t recall anything about Mrs. Hess except her name and that she was really, really old.
But what I do remember is that I loved being in her class. I remember it being a haven of peace for me. And I remember she taught me my first Bible verse: “I am the bread of life.”
I am sure Mrs. Hess is no longer walking this earth, but I often think of her and wonder how many kids she influenced with her love for Jesus and His Word.
Perhaps Mrs. Hess reached the end of her life’s journey, wondering if her long life had held any meaning, if it had had any impact on anyone.
Though I can’t speak for all her students, I can speak for myself: Mrs. Hess, thank you for planting the first seed of God’s love in this first grader’s heart.
God did in fact have His hand on me, and when I was 11 years old, I gave my life to Jesus. And throughout my life, God has given me the passion and opportunity to minister to kids and to share His story with them.
I often wonder what seeds I’ve planted. How many effective Sunday school teachers and influential Christian leaders will come from the ranks of those that I have taught?
The same is true for you.
You have no idea what God’s plan is for the kids in your class. You are probably ministering to future pastors, future teachers, perhaps future missionaries. Because of that dynamic, always walk into your children’s church or Sunday school prepared to do your best.
May we continue to tell His story to the next generation.
Who knows? That little girl on the third row of your class might be the next Mrs. Hess.
(Excerpted from Brent’s book, Whales, Rocks & Chickenfish, available for download at www.brentrandall.com).
Brent Randall Regnart has served in Children’s Ministry leadership for over 25 years. He is available to conduct a Teacher Training or Children’s Ministry event in your church or district. He and his wife Rachel live in Stockton, CA. For an informational brochure call or text (209)601-4315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.brentrandall.com.