My second–favorite teacher was Roy Rogers (not Trigger’s master). I had him in the fourth grade. Again, I don’t remember much about what he said, but I do remember what he did. He conveyed love and acceptance to a group of fourth–grade boys by giving us his time. He took us to Ted Lewis Park and taught us to play baseball. We learned how to field grounders and make double plays. We laughed together, sweated together and got dirty together. Then, following an afternoon on the diamond, Roy would load us into his station wagon and take us to the Dairy Queen for a foot–long hot dog and a chocolate milk shake. I loved Roy Rogers!
Glen, who taught the junior boys class, was my third favorite. Did you ever teach a group of ten–wiggles–per–minute boys? Usually those teachers go straight from the class to their heavenly reward! Any teacher of this class who read about Daniel and the den of lions would say, “Big deal … if they really wanted to test Daniel’s faith, they should have stuck him in a junior boys class!”
Well, Glen was stuck with us. More accurately, he was stuck on us. He taught this class for twenty years. Every ornery, wiggly, inattentive boy felt Glen’s love. At times, tears trickled down his face as he saw how God’s love could transform junior boys.
One day Glen stopped in the middle of his lesson and said, “Boys, I pray for you every day. Right after class I need to see Steve Banner, Phil
Conrad, Junior Fowler and John Maxwell.” After class the four of us huddled in the corner with Glen, and he said, “Last night while I was praying for you, I sensed that the Lord was going to call each of you into full–time Christian service. I want to be the first to encourage you to obey God.” Then he wept as he prayed, asking the Lord to use us for His glory.
Today we all pastor churches—Steve Banner in Ohio, Phil Conrad in Arizona, Junior Fowler in Oklahoma and I in California. These Sunday school teachers made a positive mark on my life because of their acceptance and affirmation.
John C. Maxwell, The Winning Attitude (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1993), 60.