I think the first time I saw one of them was in front of the Dominos Pizza not too far from our house. But now I see them more and more often — people standing just off the street holding signs for businesses. Sometimes they’re wearing a t-shirt from the company they represent and other times they’re dressed like a giant tiger or a dog. Once I even saw one dressed like the Statue of Liberty. If I travel on certain busy streets I see one nearly every day.
Recently someone mentioned to me that the world is getting so noisy that we need to have people standing by the street to get our attention — it’s the only thing that breaks through the noise of our culture. I hadn’t thought of it that way but I think there is something to that. If it was just a sign out in front of the store then I probably wouldn’t notice but you put a person out front dancing around with a sign that says “We buy gold” and I notice it — and I remember it too.
As we’re ready to start another year of church school I wondered about what it takes to get my attention. I imagine that kids have nearly as much noise in their lives as I do in mine — in some cases more. It seems to me we have two choices if we’re going to get their attention: get louder or try, at least for an hour on Sunday morning, to turn the volume down on the world.
As I thought about what that might mean I imagined a room with some kids in it and an adult — not dancing around holding a sign but sitting with them. Talking to them, listening to them and giving them a few minutes to be quiet. I don’t think we can compete with the noise of culture — it’s just too overwhelming. If I’m going to try to play that game I’m going to lose. But if I change the rules, if I try to settle kids down rather than gearing them up, maybe I have a chance to be heard.
God is big enough to be heard over the din of modern society but I don’t think I am. Perhaps Sunday School needs to be a place where we don’t compete with the world. What do you think that would look like?