06 February 2005

When Worship Becomes Work

As many of you know, I am a Christian. Although I attend a Baptist church, I don't really considers myself a Baptist. I jokingly refer to myself as a hippie Christian; I think I might have fit in well with the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s. For several years, I just studied the Bible and did my own devotions at home, but I came to a point where I felt I was focusing too much on myself and I had to get out and start giving to others by attending a church. That was several years' ago.

These days I teach women's Sunday School once a month as well as Children's Church three times a month. Sunday School is a joy; I really feel like I am using the gifts with which God blessed me. Children's Church, on the other hand, is a major chore for me. I have trouble dealing with little kids. Yes, I know that sounds crazy considering I have four children of my own but it is the truth. I get along much better with my own children now that they are older. It is difficult for me to put myself on a young child's level so I have trouble coming up with lessons that will hold their attention. The 10 - 12 year-olds enjoy my class, but the 4 - 7 year olds don't get me. Unfortunately I have them both in the same class most of the time because I don't have another adult to help me.

What this boils down to is that I am beginning to feel like Sunday is just another workday. I have to start psyching myself up on Friday to be able to go. If I quit, no one else will step in to take over and it is the children who will suffer. Although I know that I am not doing the best job, the kids prefer Children's Church to sitting in the adult sanctuary where they attempt to sit quietly for 2 1/2 hours while the sermon goes over their heads.

I work for a ministry and I attend church every Sunday, yet I feel like I am getting further and further away from God. During my brief period of unemployment last year, I felt peaceful for the first time in a long time. I attribute it to the hour I spent every morning after the kids went to school, reading my Bible and praying. These days, whenever I try to do that, I am distracted by thoughts of all the other things that I need to do and how little time I have to do them. I don't know how other people with similar responsibilities manage to maintain a healthy spiritual life.
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