Being Properly Prepared
By Jenna Weis
“What a weekend… I’m just gonna have to wing it!” Have you ever said this about something you definitely should not wing? Maybe it was a presentation at school or a performance in a play. But have you ever said this as you were about to teach Sunday School? It can be hard to find time to prepare for class, but preparation helps us as teachers do our best for God and our students. Here are three tips to help you be properly prepared.
First, set aside time to study your lesson. Find a time of day when you will be free from distractions and have enough time to go over your materials. Maybe use the time you spend on the internet or watching TV to study. It is best to start studying your lesson early in the week, like on Monday or Tuesday, so you have the whole week to get it down. It will also give you enough time to gather any extra materials or think of creative teaching methods for your lesson.
It is best to start studying your lesson early in the week, like on Monday or Tuesday, so you have the whole week to get it down.
Second, get prepared to study. Do you like to study while listening to music? Rock out to your favorite study playlist. Need total quiet to study? Find a quiet space in your house or at a local library to get that silent solitude you need to focus. Before you study, take a moment to pray and ask God to bless your study time. Ask Him to teach you something through this lesson even if it is a familiar story to you. Also, remember to take a break during your study time. Get up, stretch, and walk around for a bit. Taking short, regular breaks increases motivation, productivity, and creativity. A little break goes a long way.
While you are studying, go beyond your lesson text. There are hundreds of commentaries, study Bibles, and online resources to help you go deeper into the passage you are studying for class. Explore the cultural history of your passage or look up the original meanings of some of the words to help you get a better understanding of the passage. Some of the children in your class may ask questions that go beyond what your lesson text shares. Doing some more outside study helps you be prepared to answer those questions and strengthens your own appreciation and understanding. Some of my recommended favorites are Child Evangelism Fellowships’ Children’s Ministries Resource Bible, the Archeology Study Bible, and blueletterbible.com.
“Some of the children in your class may ask questions that go beyond what your lesson text shares.”
Third, get to class early. If you study your lesson ahead of time, you will know what needs to be set up for class. Give yourself enough time to set up all your materials before the kids arrive. It helps to have a special bag or tote dedicated to Sunday school materials so you have everything you need when you arrive to class.
Taking the time to be well prepared will not just make class easier for you as the teacher, but it will also make it more fun and interesting for the kids. Now, stop procrastinating and start studying!
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