What began as a faux pas became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
During my interview with Brian McLaren for the Something Beautiful podcast last year, I mentioned to him how sometimes I'm afraid to ask questions because I'm afraid what the answer might be. He said he understood, and that questions are good things. Brian said, "I know you lead youth, and you're probably wondering if someone who has questions should teach youth, but I think you can really help kids when they have questions."
Except that at the time, I wasn't a youth leader.
Now, fast forward to a year later, and I now help teach Sunday school to to third and fourth graders.
I'm not exactly sure how I ended up with job. Not long after I joined an ELCA church back in April, some one asked me if I wanted to help perform skits at Vacation Bible School. I said yes on a whim, and then the next thing I know they ask me to help teach Sunday school. I guess I'm better with kids than I thought.
I like teaching Sunday school. The kids always keep me on my toes. And I since it's a small group of kids--five at the most--I don't feel as naked as I would in front of a large group of people. I think the thing I like most about is that it gives me a chance to explain big heady theological issues in simple childlike language. Sometimes I need things explained to me like I'm in third grade before I can understand what's going on.
Especially when I have doubts.
The kids don't seem to mind when I don't have all the answers. I like to think I can answer all their questions, but sometimes I just have to say, "I don't know." It's funny, that's what makes teaching Sunday school fun: I get to ask questions with the kids. I have an opportunity to discover the answers alongside the kids. And on a rare occasion, the kids end up teaching me!
So maybe Brian was right. Maybe teaching youth is where a Doubting Thomas like me should be.