The Effective Sunday School Teacher
By Caroline Middaugh
But when I became a Sunday school teacher myself, I learned how hard it is to try to remember my lesson, plan exciting activities, bring all my supplies, and most of all be passionate about sharing the Gospel with the kids in my class. I realized that the teachers who had the greatest impact on my Christian life were the ones who first invested in their own relationship with God. I concluded that if I wanted to have an influence on the kids I was teaching, I needed to spend time in God’s Word.
You are in a battle.
When you step into your classroom, you are stepping into a battlefield. Each time you teach your Bible lesson or explain a verse, you are taking a stand for God. You need to be prepared by spending time in God’s Word, reminding yourself of His promises. Psalm 46:1 reflects this: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” God is with you when you are planning or teaching or struggling to discipline the kids. But it’s not just during the struggles that God will help you. Jesus is with you even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20 ). Spend time in God’s Word so you can get to know more about the God who will never leave you.
God is with you when you are planning or teaching or struggling to discipline the kids.
Jesus set the example.
After Jesus returned to Heaven, the disciples quickly took up the task of sharing the Gospel. They had followed Jesus for three years, watching as He taught and performed miracles. When He returned to Heaven, they remembered what Jesus had said and done and they taught others what they had seen and heard. He didn’t leave sermon notes or lesson plans, but He gave them the Holy Spirit. And since they had spent valuable time as students of Jesus, they could teach the crowds.
Throughout His ministry Jesus often left the crowds and the disciples to spend time in prayer to His Father (Matthew 14:23; Luke 5:16). Jesus set the example, and you are also an example to your students. Paul points out in his letters that we must be imitators of Christ and examples to the believers (1 Thessalonians 1:5-7). The children in your class are watching you in class and outside of class—when they see you in line at the grocery store, watching local sports, or at a restaurant. They will know if your words on Sunday morning don’t match your actions during the week.
Jesus set the example, and you are also an example to your students.
Your relationship with Christ is key.
As you spend time in God’s Word, looking to Him for guidance, He will direct you. Study your Sunday school lesson using all the resources available, but trust Him to make His Word real in your life, to give you love for the children, and to win the battle against the forces of evil.
You may have a student for many years or just a few Sundays, but you have the awesome privilege of investing in his or her life. To do this you need to first invest in your own spiritual life by spending time in God’s Word.
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