So, you’re either thinking of becoming a Sunday school teacher or you already are a Sunday school teacher. Congratulations on even considering such a wonderful call. Children’s ministry workers are among the most important volunteers on the globe.
Children form beliefs and practices that will guide them for the rest of their lives thanks to these dedicated folks. They provide the best friends that children can find by opening eyes and hearts to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Inside this article, I’ll be sharing one of my most valuable “teaching secrets” – and (hopefully) helping you understand what your most important job is as a Sunday School teacher.
Here’s a hint… it’s not just about teaching your students the Bible!
Ever wonder why Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader is such a funny TV show? It illustrates how many facts we adults have forgotten after our hundred-thousand dollar educations. What do we remember most about school? Favorite teachers and friends, statistics say. To get the big picture, think of one of your potential students thirty years from now.
When he answers the question, “What do you remember most about Sunday school,” the answer could be your name. It could be your name probably more easily than anything you taught to him.
We’d be hard pressed to remember what year fall-out shelters became mandatory in schools. But we can remember that history teacher who told of sitting in the hallway during World War II after the air raid buzzer sounded, shoulder-to-shoulder with classmates, all of them with their heads between their knees.
It’s not that the history teacher knew so many facts and figures. It’s that he cared about two things – the students in the class and the piece of history he was sharing.
Your most important job: Caring about your students.
If you can maintain your caring heart–to the students and the Bible stories–you will have a great foundation for being a memorable teacher.
What Caring About Your Sunday School Students Really Means
Caring about your students doesn’t necessarily mean having a constant gushy feeling about them. Caring means commitment. Being a Sunday school teacher is a little like being a spouse. Before you took those marriage vows, your pastor might have counseled you, “Feelings come and go.
Love is a commitment.” And in all your newlywed glory, you may have thought he simply did not understand that the stars in your eyes meant your romantic feelings were a galaxy of their own, and love would conquer all. Then, the truth started to set in the twenty-ninth time your spouse left socks in the middle of the floor – or berated you for strewing socks when such things never mattered in your family.
It’s like that with a Sunday school class. Some kids are natural angels; some will make you want to crash nap after teaching. But feelings come and go. True love stays, in spite of annoyances. Love is a commitment you make to your kids. You commit to loving them, and the feelings follow in good time.
3 Ways To “Feel The Love”
This isn’t to say it’s wise to come into class feeling that at any second your lip might curl and you’re fighting a snarl. Kids can read energy extremely well, and it’s important that they sense your comfort with them and how much you enjoy your time with them. Here are some ways to care and feel comfortable around your kids:
1. Pray for your students. This is not only a spiritual benefit but a great exercise. “Someone you’ve prayed for becomes an extension of yourself, someone for whom empathy comes more easily,” one Sunday school teacher said. You’ll find that you’re able to put yourself in that child’s shoes if you pray in specifics.
2. Take time to relax before class. While driving, while waiting for students to arrive, take all thoughts of how much information you have to impart and replace those thoughts with how glad you will be to see every face individually. Twenty years from now, your students may not remember the items in your lesson plan, but they will remember the joy you felt in seeing them. They will project Christ as being the same way.
3. Remember that the facts about Christianity are very important, however Sunday school teachers are generally not expected to be Biblical experts to younger children. No matter how good your knowledge base in all things Christian, you will still get hecklers, behavior problems, and ingratitude from some. You won’t win every argument or be able to answer every question. Students will, however, sense it if you really care about them, and the more they trust you, the more easily the information you provide become part of them.
And if you’d like to see more Sunday School teaching ideas, games, activites and lesson plans, be sure to check out this free Sunday School activities video here: