Sunday School is important. A Sunday School teacher has a powerful influence for as Jesus said in Luke 6:40, "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." A teacher then becomes a role model for his or her students-talk about influence!
How many of you have heard of a man named Edward Kimball? Well, if you haven't don't feel to bad because he lived over a hundred years ago and his name does not appear in any history books that I know of mainly because most historians would say that Mr. Kimball never did anything that was all that newsworthy. He was just a "simple" Sunday School teacher in Chicago who taught a class full of teenage boys. Well one day he got a new student-a country boy who didn't know the ways of the city or of the church. When he first came to his class, Edward Kimball handed him a Bible and asked him to turn to the Gospel of John but the country boy didn't know how to find the Gospel of John.
Edward Kimball realized how little the boy knew so he ignored the snickering of the other boys, opened the Bible to the Gospel of John and handed it back. When he asked the boys to take turns reading the Scripture, the country boy always fumbled along. But Edward Kimball saw possibilities in the boy. He worked with him, and after a few months he went down to the store where the boy was working, into the back room where he was stacking boxes, and led the boy whose name was Dwight to embrace a personal faith in Jesus Christ. This was the beginning of a great, marvelous thing that God was doing!
That was the beginning of the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, one of this continent's greatest evangelists during the last century. But that's not the end of the story. You see, Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, once preached in a little chapel there pastored by a young man named Frederic Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a certain Sunday school teacher he had known who personally went to every student in his class and led every one of them to Christ. That message changed Meyer's entire ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody.
Over the years Meyer came to America several times to preach. Once in Northfield, Massachusetts, a young preacher sitting in the back row heard Meyer say, "If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?" And, that remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God in his life. Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time.
A volunteer by the name of Billy Sunday-a famous baseball player-helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Sunday eventually took over Chapman's ministry, becoming one of the best known evangelists of the 20th century. In the great arenas of the nation, God used Billy Sunday's preaching to turn thousands of people to Christ. Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina, a committee of Christians there dedicated themselves to reaching that city for Christ.
The committee invited the evangelist Mordecai Ham to hold a series of evangelistic meetings there in 1932. And a lanky 16-year-old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the (message of the white-haired preacher, who seemed to be shouting and waving his lone finger at him. Night after night the teen attended and finally he went forward to give his life to Christ. His name was Billy Graham-the man who has undoubtedly communicated the gospel of Jesus Christ to more people than any other man in history. And all this started with the work of a faithful Sunday School teacher named Kimball.
So, you see Sunday School teachers have the potential to make an amazing impact on eternity. They have a unique opportunity to disciple people because they meet them one on one. They get to really know them and become a part of their lives. Might you be a teacher or helper?