As of this past Sunday, I have pulled the plug on my adult Sunday School Bible study class. I’m burned out after nearly 20 years of banging my head against the wall trying to get adults in my church to come to a class; and when I have had a class, I find I’m really not enjoying teaching this year. I’m just tired.
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s we had some good classes, with anywhere from 7 to 12 people regularly attending. Many were older women in their 70s and 80s, the church’s widows, who gradually found themselves less and less able to be active in such things. So the class dwindled down to where it was only three of us, Golda, Kelly, and me.
Golda was so loyal to my class for so long. God bless her for the love, joy, and wisdom she brought to the class! About 3 years ago she had a car accident which totaled out her car, did some minor damage to a Domino’s Pizza building, and some minor damage to Golda physically. But after she recovered, she never managed to get back to the class. She is now nearly 90, a shut-in, living in a nursing home, sharing God’s love with everyone there, but unable to come to church any more.
After Golda left the class, we had one friend of mine, a former Marine, attend regularly for a year, so we were back to three of us with Kelly and me. But after that year he decided he wanted to go in another direction. That left Kelly and me, and anyone else I could talk into coming (usually my son Dan.)
This fall I revamped the whole class, in the sincere hope that more people would come. We changed from an intense study of the Gospel of John to a quick, easy discussion period using the lectionary readings for that Sunday. The first Sunday there were five of us, Kelly, Dan, and me; and one other couple who were interested but who said they would only be able to come occasionally. After seven Sundays they haven’t been back. Dan can only come once or twice a month himself, so in spite of the changes, we’re down basically to Kelly and me again.
Kelly is an attractive mom in her mid-40s, and I’m 55, and there had been talk among some in the church about her and me going together into this classroom with no windows and closing the door, so we agreed that we should not have class if it was only the two of us. We knew we weren’t doing anything. We knew neither of us would do anything to threaten either of our marriages. But the scriptures say we shouldn’t allow even the appearance of immorality.
And so we have come to the end of the road. I put so much time and effort into preparation for the class, and it was very frustrating when nobody showed up. I don’t blame Kelly and Dan; they came when they could. I’m sure they both got a lot out of the discussions; I know I did.
But I’m burned out. So I’m turning out the lights and shutting the door.
Other doors will open.