I got hit with a fever last Wednesday. I missed a business trip down to California. But I thought it was early enough that I would be fine by Easter.
Well, Saturday night rolls around, and I'm still not feeling well. I was preparing my Powerpoint presentation when it suddenly hit me...what if I'm still contagious? If I'm still contagious, then I can't go to Sunday school! I did a little research, and it turns out that I was, in fact, still contagious. So we had to quickly switch gears. I ditched the Powerpoint and had to start working on a new lesson plan that my substitute, Mrs. BigKat, could teach (keep in mind that it was about 10pm by this point). Her Sunday School teaching style is much different than mine, so I had to come up with something that would fit her. First of all, I had her read about Jesus' resurrection from The Jesus Storybook Bible (which I consider to be the BEST storybook Bible out there). I also got some songs for her that the kids were familiar with that she could do with them. We have a video that has Jana Alarya performing her songs with all of the hand motions. I thought this would be a fun way for Mrs. BigKat to lead the singing portion. And I already had the crafts part all worked out. So a good chunk of the class was taken care of without too much difficulty.
But I also wanted the kids to hear about the significance of Easter. I wanted to explain to them about God's Plan of Salvation and about how the whole Bible is centered around Christ's death and resurrection. And I REALLY wanted to this part myself.
That's when I came up with my great idea...
I set up my webcam and made a short 7 minute video of myself that Mrs. BigKat played for the kids on the projector. It took me 4 or 5 takes, but it turned out pretty good! Some of the kids actually thought that I was talking to them from my home. I started out doing the 'Christ is risen!'-'He is risen indeed!' greeting, which they picked up on pretty quickly. I had them do it 4 times, encouraging them to get progressively louder (Mrs. BigKat said that they got pretty loud by the third time). It sounds like they were disappointed that I wasn't there, but they were happy that my wife was taking my place and that they were able to see me on the video.
I was glad that I was kinda-sorta able to be in class on Easter with the kids. I was quite disappointed when I realized that I wouldn't be able to go. We had been looking forward to our Easter class for a while now. I had purchased some special crafts for them and everything. But in the end, I think we did a pretty good job of taking a less-than-ideal situation and still making it special for the kids.
You know, this is really an interesting side effect of when I decided to create my own curriculum this year. I knew that creating all my own stuff was a big decision and would require a lot of extra effort. But I decided to just give it a try and see what happens. The funny thing is that now, when other ideas pop into my head, it's pretty easy to just give those a try as well. We did this for 'Blanket Month' where our our class raised $100 in February to help provide blankets for families in India. We did it when we redesigned how our Discipleship Journals worked (also known as D-Journal v2.0). We did this when we started using YouTube videos as a way to communicate important information to parents. And now, thanks to my webcam we're able to creatively minister to the kids on Easter, even though I was sick.
It might not be very traditional. It can sometimes take some extra effort. And it may not work out like I envision it. But for a Sunday School Geek like me, finding new, interesting ways to teach the Bible, disciple kids, and solve problems is a lot of fun. And most importantly, when I'm able to implement one of my goofy ideas, I feel like I'm using the gifts that God has given me and really putting them to use for His glory.