It was a mistake. I haven’t taught kids’ Sunday School in about four of five years…and I forgot that kindergartners and young elementary students think in black and white. They don’t think the way that adults do. And they don’t understand rhetorical comments.
So there I was, teaching about how people share the Gospel in China, and I said something along the lines of “A lot of people in China don’t know about Jesus. They need someone to tell them. Maybe you can go and tell them that Jesus loves them.” Rhetorical statement, right? Not to the little boy who raised his hand and said, “I have a question…what if your mom says you can’t go to China because it’s too far away and she’s too busy to take you?”
Oh brother. Am I the only one who winds up in these situations?
Back to the conversation: As an adult, you probably understand my comment to mean, “You can be a missionary to China when you’re a grown up.” But that little boy was hearing “Ask your mom to drive you to China right now so you can tell someone God loves them.” (Just guessing…but based on his question, I think he’s asked mom for a few other impossible things recently.)
What does my Sunday School disaster have to do with radio? Just this: I met with a friend this week who asked, “Why don’t Christians talk like real people? We say stuff like, ‘worshipping at the feet of the Master,’ but really…do most people talk like that?”
Good question. It made me think about the things that I say. Do I need to get rid of a few clichés? Is it time to examine my vocabulary and learn how to talk about God, Truth, and Scripture in a language with which people can relate? This isn’t about compromise or watering down the truth. Instead, it’s about the Apostle Paul’s words, “if our Gospel is hid, it is hid to those who perish.”
My Sunday School slip up was a reminder to make sure that I’m speaking in a language that my audience understands. Otherwise, someone might miss the Message. Or…who knows? They might even wind up asking their mom to drive them to China!