Today in Benton, KY believers are gathered to celebrate the home going of a precious saint, Mrs. Janice Minard. This godly lady played a very special part in my childhood and the childhood of hundreds of people. She faithfully taught simple Bible lessons and fun songs that helped me learn more about Jesus. Even though I have received a degree from a college I must admit I received the vast majority of my Bible education in a Sunday School classroom.
As I think about her life I am reminded of the incredible role that sunday school teachers play in world evangelism. By God’s grace, Mrs. Janice’s story is repeated all around the world. Almost every fellow minister I know can speak with great affection about a person in their life like her. That does not diminish their value but highlights their necessity in getting the Gospel to the world!
The book of Acts is filled with plural pronouns. Their are people like Aquila and Priscilla that help give more information to a young Apollos. Their are grandmothers teaching their young grandsons named Timothy. In any part of history where you see the Gospel advancing you will find people with a testimony like my life long Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Janice.
When I was around 19 years old I preached a sermon and Mrs. Janice was in attendance. I tried to mimic some sensational message I had heard in chapel at the college I was attending at the time. It was designed to make the person delivering the sermon look witty but it did not do much to feed the sheep. Mrs. Janice wrote me a note. It was a very loving note of encouragement. Towards the end of the letter she lovingly urged me to be a man of the book and to teach the Bible every opportunity I was given. In a few gentle words she spoke very loudly into my life. I really wish I had that letter today. Even though I do not have the letter, the words are written on my life and greatly influenced my desire to be a student of God’s Word.
Thank you to Mrs. Minard and to all who are big enough to bend down and teach a simple lesson to a small child.