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Lesson Learned: Craft Sticks

Construction crews were coming to begin the process of combining our small Sunday School classrooms into larger spaces to accommodate the growing Day School. One of my tasks was to empty out the overflowing Sunday School supply cabinets. Years ago, a congregational handyman built these special cabinets for each Sunday School room. Each one contained shelves for Bibles and storage for crafts supplies and other materials. Over the years, many teachers made use of these cabinets to stash everything they needed for their classes. Little did I know how much stashing these volunteers had done.

As I began cleaning, the first cabinet yielded three packages of craft sticks, each at least half full. I guess this teacher kept buying bags of craft sticks each time she needed them for a craft and left the extras in the cabinet for the next time she might need them. Turns out the teacher using cabinet two endorsed the same philosophy; likewise teachers three, four, five, and six.

By the time I finished cleaning out the Sunday School cabinets, I amassed enough craft sticks---in a variety of sizes---to fill a 25-gallon storage container to overflowing. Both amazed and appalled, I sent a note to the Sunday School staff declaring that they could do any craft projects they wanted as long as they involved craft sticks!

I learned an important lesson that day: In order to improve the stewardship of congregational resources, all supplies would be centralized in the Sunday School office.

The adjustment was relatively painless for our Sunday School teachers, and it really streamlined the craft process. We keep a generous stock of basic craft supplies in a small storage container in the Sunday School office, including glue, chenille stems, paper plates, construction paper, and---of course---plenty of craft sticks!

What lessons have you learned in your Sunday School ministry? Share in the comments below.

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