Learning as Worship

In my first few weeks at Watson Groen Christian, I was introduced to Mins Reinsma; however, I really never got to know him until the day he showed up in my office. It was a hectic type of day filled with all the trivia that is administration. The office told me that someone from the church wanted to see me. There was that quick thought--Now what have I done? When I walked out, I encountered Mins. All I knew about him was that he was the man from church who earned the respect of many. He stood up, thrust out a hand, and asked if we could talk. An elder of the church wanted an audience with me in my office. This had the makings of all kinds of fun.

The request was simple: “May I visit the school?” My response was a quick “yes,” but I needed to know why. Was this an evaluation? Would a critique be coming? His response was equally as quick. “I just want to enjoy the children learning.” A bit of a head-scratcher for me, but I saw no harm in the request. So began one of the most important lesson I was about to learn as a teacher.

Over the years, I came to appreciate that all Mins wanted to do was worship with us. His cathedral was a classroom. The liturgies were the lessons led by teachers and responded to by the choir of children’s voices as they engaged in chorus of learning. He saw teaching as a sacramental duty with God reaching out to him as he told his stories with the children seated around him. The school was a holy place, set apart from the rest of the world, so that the next generation could know the wondrous works of the Lord.

Those were the days when a brief conversation with Mins would make me feel I had the most important job in the world. He will be missed.