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Attendance Chart Blues
One day in class, while we were taking attendance, the children were putting their little stickers in the squares next to their names, on the attendance chart. I had previously hung the chart on the wall for convenience. I thought the children would enjoy seeing their stickers and it may excite them to try to come to Sunday School. I had no idea that hanging the attendance chart on the wall would become a problem.
One day, during Sunday School, the children began comparing their attendance stickers with one another.
“Who has the most stickers?” one student asked. Then all of the students raced over to the attendance chart to check it out.
Before I could stop them, one student found the answer to the question and another student asked, “Who has the least amount of stickers?”
I tried to prevent the student from finding the answer to this question, but I didn’t get to the chart in time to stop him. Soon the children found out the child with the lowest attendance and began to tease him.
I stopped the children from teasing their classmate and told them that they needed to compare themselves to Jesus—not to one another. In doing this, we all fall short of the mark and no one has any reason to boast. I also told the students they were wrong in teasing the boy, and they needed to apologize for their behavior. After apologies were made, I tried to comfort the boy who had been hurt.
In 2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV warns us about comparing ourselves with others saying, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
At a later date I found out that this young boy’s father wouldn’t come to church because he wanted to stay home and watch sports on television. I also learned that this father discouraged the boy’s mother from coming as well. Consequently, the boy’s poor attendance was not his fault. It was unfortunate that this boy was hurt because of his father’s refusal to attend or bring his family to church.
From this experience I learned to keep my attendance chart private. Secondly I learned that children usually cannot help it if their attendance in Sunday School is not regular. Frequently, it is the parents who refuse to allow their children to come to church or who do not want to get up early or put out the effort to bring them.
These children with irregular attendance need to be encouraged or given Bibles and materials they can use at home to learn about God. They also need continued prayer for their families.
Hopefully this situation can be avoided by keeping our attendance charts private so no one but the teacher and church leaders can see them. This will keep our students from getting hurt and us from getting “Attendance Chart Blues.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV clearly tells us where our eyes should be focused saying, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
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