Stepping Up

A few months ago, I started teaching Sunday School at my church once a month.  I have the elementary school kids, which was basically all of the children from ages 5 – 12.  One of the things I noticed about the elementary program was a very, very basic structure.  It consisted of a meet and greet, an extremely brief lesson, and some sort of craft that sometimes fit with the lesson and sometimes didn’t.

There was no music and very limited amounts of prayer and meditation.

Last weekend, I asked our office manager who it was that developed the lessons for the elementary kids.  She told me that it was her, so I asked her where she got the material from, and she told me that she got it from all over.  She told me that they have the curriculum from National, but that it isn’t designed for the class time that we had.  It had too much going on to make it manageable for a classroom with our number of students and limited amount of time.

She said, “What we really need is a dedicated person to help consolidate all that material into something we could better use.”

So, naturally, I offered to help.

She set me up with a goal: design four lessons for April with the topic of my choosing, and then we’d go from there.

I went home and started doing some research, and I found a couple of examples that came from the Unity National IMG_8549website, and I started converting one into a story book and coloring book.  I then made a larger one that the teacher would read to the students that was fully colored.

I adapted the story from the All Together Now! Curriculum from National Unity.  It’s the free example they have posted there.  I pulled the clip art from various websites across the internet have doing some extensive research on fair use that told me that since it’s for education purposes only, using them shouldn’t be a problem.

While I was doing some more research for the other three Sundays, I stumbled across Unity’s website for their seminary and institute.  After poking around, I found a page that would certify me as a Spiritual Educator within Unity.  It takes at least two years, and after crunching numbers, would cost about $3,000 total.  It’s also a stepping stone into ministry, which is something I’ve been toying with the idea of for a few years now.  I always pushed it back because there weren’t ever any doors available for me to walk through, and I didn’t feel like that was something I should try to force: if the opportunity arose, then I would go after it, and the opportunity hadn’t arose yet.

I ended up getting so excited about everything that I e-mailed the minister this long and ramble filled e-mail about what I wanted to do, all the stuff that I found, and what I was looking for.  I finished it up with a “Can I see what we have curriculum-wise?”

He wrote me back the next day, “This is very exciting.  Let’s meet sometime this week and talk.”

I decided I would see him at church today, so I just waited until then.  It would give me enough time to get the rest of this example lesson put together.  I spent the next few days coloring in the pages for the teacher version of the story so that it would be colorful for the kids.

I was finishing it up last night while watching Netflix and having dinner with Erin.  We were watching Pokemon.  Don’t judge me.  Anyway, she said, “I love that you’re watching pokemon and coloring right now.”

IMG_8550It’s the little things, I guess.

We found a folder, and put the papers in it.  I got out a notebook and started writing down some ideas that I had about the Youth Education program at Unity.  I came up with some short term goals and some long term goals.

With short-term, I wanted to structure the Elementary program more, design a pre-school program for the nursery, start putting out feelers for the long term goals, increase the number of volunteers (especially at the 11:30 service), and look into some fundraising for both my certification and the youth program itself.  With long term goals, I wanted to get a middle school class going, create a Wednesday night youth program, and design a week long summer day camp (basically a Vacation Bible School with less Bible in it).

After church today, I sat down with the minister and told him a couple of my ideas and what I was interested in.  He said he wanted the youth program to be more aligned with what was going on in the adult program, and that there use to be a dedicated person to that, but some things happened and they left.  He said there was a break up involved and people getting overwhelmed.  I told him that I loved that idea, and that I wanted to add music and more prayer into the youth service as well.  He liked that idea.

I told him about my long term goals, and he said those were all on his list of long term goals as well.  Finally, I told him about my desires to become certified as my first step into the ministry, but how I would need help with the money.  I asked if, since this would benefit the church, if I would be able to fundraise some or all of the money through the church.  He said, “Of course!”

He said he wanted to meet later on in the week to talk about things more in depth, such as what my responsibilities would be and what they would expect from me.  I said that was fine, but asked if I could go ahead and get his April talking points so that I could begin working on April lessons immediately.

He said, “Oh, is that what you want to do?  Like as a volunteer?”

I said, “Yes… I can start restructuring the elementary classroom this month for next month.”

He said, “Oh, because I thought you were looking for a position within Unity.”

A position?  Like… like a job in youth ministry?

I replied, “Oh, well… I didn’t know that was an option.  I mean, I can start doing the lessons now, and we can talk more when we meet this week.”

He said, “Yes! Of course!  That sounds wonderful.”

We decided on Tuesday at 6:00pm.  Whoop!  I’m so excited.

He started telling me about how they almost have all the money they need to push out the building to add six more classrooms to it, and how they’re in process of fundraising the money for the two million that they need to build the new sanctuary.  “Once we have that, this sanctuary will become the youth sanctuary, and they’ll have service in here once or twice a week.”

Which would require a youth minister…

Which could be me… Just sayin’

As we were wrapping up, he asked me what he felt my first priority would be.  I said, “First, I’d fully restructure the Elementary Program.  Then I would locate the volunteers we had and find where we needed more.  After that, I would create a calendar where we would write down specifically where people were needed and where people were not.  Then, I would do a huge volunteer push and advertise it for awhile until we had at least four volunteers at each service.”

He nodded his head in agreement, smiled, and said, “We’ll talk more on Tuesday.”

Y’all… Y’all…  Y’ALL!!!  I am so freaking STOKED right now about this!  This has the potential to be HUGE for me.  This could be something monumental for my life.  Holy Cannolli, Batman! I can’t even really put into words just how nervous/excited/reserved/hopeful/etc that I’m feeling right now.

Worst case scenario: they decide they don’t want/need my help, and I go about my way teaching every month like I have been.  This option is highly unlikely, as I’m sure our office manager desperately wants the extra help, and I am good with kids and understand child and classroom development.  Best case scenario: they make me the Youth Education Coordinator and pay me for it.  Hot. Freaking. Damn.

::happy dances all over the place::

Oh my gosh, is it Tuesday yet?!

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Posted on March 15, 2015, in Balance, Belief, Faith, Life, Random Rants, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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