DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I have taught Sunday school for the past fifteen years and recently I was asked to fill in for the youth ministry leader, who was on maternity leave.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s, so I don’t shock easily, but some of the things I heard these kids talking about in our discussion group made me cringe. These kids talked openly ─ in front of an adult who’s known them since they were little ─ about sex, alcohol, drugs, social media stalking and slanders, and more topics than I can remember ─ or care to!
What are the odds these kids were putting on a show for the old Sunday schoolmarm, or is this for real? And if it’s for real, how much do you suppose their parents know? --- SHOCKED TO THE CHOIRLOFT
DEAR SHOCKED TO THE CHOIRLOFT: I suspect you were treated to at least equal parts fact and fiction. While I wouldn’t venture to guess how much kids have changed over the years as far as what they do or don’t do, there certainly seems to be a greater level of openness and lack of self-consciousness among many, and the expectation that everyone is largely unfiltered.
How much their parents know is anyone’s guess, as is how much they’d care to know, and a fair topic for you to take up with their usual adult leader.
Consider your stint as fly-on-the-wall as a chance to gain both a little knowledge and wisdom, which may give you new insights as a religious instructor.