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The Call of the Crayon


The Call of the Crayon

In the past few weeks at Southwood, we have heard and seen a lot about “growing small.” As a large church, one of our challenges is to make sure that we as members are engaged in our church in a significant way and that as we grow small together as a body of believers, we take what we have learned and are learning out into the world and share Christ. 

Also in the past few weeks, we’ve seen that great “fall” occurrence, the return to school. New backpacks, lunchboxes, crayons, paper and glue have been purchased and we’ve waved our kids off to the classroom for another year of learning. To those who have ever been a teacher, they will tell you that when school starts, no matter what they are doing, the crayon calls them. Teachers and past teachers wax poetic about how when the children return to the classroom, they can smell the new box of crayons, they can hear the clicking of the new three-ring binders and they feel this overwhelming urge to stand at the chalkboard and teach!

What do small groups and school starting back have in common? Nanette Respess!
For three years, Nanette was a member of the church staff “small group”. While her official title may have been Administrator to the Senior Pastor, she did a lot of other things around the office too. As a member of the staff, she attended weekly staff meetings where books were read and discussed, where members shared their hearts and their goals for ministry, and where friendships, not just working relationships, were grown and developed. She was engaged with a body of believers who supported and uplifted her in her walk with the Lord. But, before Nanette worked at the church, she taught 3rd and 5th grade for 18 years and every year she worked at the church she felt the “call of the crayon” when school started. This year, not only did the crayon call, but also God called Nanette back to the classroom. She is teaching 5th grade again and is the leader of her own classroom, or should we say small group?

The definition of teach is, ‘to show or explain how to do something, to encourage, to give intellectual, moral and social instruction to someone.” As members of a small group we are both teachers and students. Sometimes we do the instructing and sometimes we take that instruction from others. Nanette is using the things she has learned from her body of believers and is taking it back out into the world to share with others. While she will be greatly missed at the church office, her “small group” will continue to pray for and encourage her as she goes back to the classroom and her classroom is rejoicing over their new teacher!