Don’t Give Up!
by Caroline Middaugh
We’ve all been guilty of it. More than half your class is off sick, on vacation, or something else has taken them away. Perhaps you watched as some even avoided the classroom. As you look at the few who have come, you wonder what to do with the time. Just give them a coloring page, stick a DVD in, or play another game? Each week brings difficulties to your class or to you as a teacher. Some weeks you just want to throw in the towel. Your last little ounce of patience already left before the first child even walked in. Being a Sunday school teacher can be extremely draining of your energy and time. It could seem a whole lot easier to just walk away completely. But don’t give up! Even when it seems impossible, there are so many reasons to keep going.
Children mattered to Jesus.
In the Bible we see that Jesus placed an emphasis on spending time with the children. In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” If Jesus placed such an importance on the children, shouldn’t His followers also be concerned for them? We need to have the same heart for children as Jesus did. They need to hear the Gospel. And as a teacher, it’s your privilege to tell them! God will be with you as you are doing the work He has called you to. The Gospel matters and has the power to change lives, even the life of a child.
Many people come to Christ when they are children.
I came to Christ when I was four years old, and according to the Barna Group, only 6% of adult Christians made their decision to follow God after the age of 18. That means 94% made decisions before adulthood—and half of these made that decision before the age of 13. Now is the time to be reaching the children of your church!
If Jesus placed such an importance on the children, shouldn’t His followers also be concerned for them?
Regain your passion for teaching.
What was the reason you signed up to teach Sunday school in the first place? What has motivated you to keep going in the past? How have you seen God work in the lives of your students? Think of answers to those questions and write them down. Look at them when you get tired or exasperated by your students and remind yourself of why you don’t give up.
Don’t forget your first love.
As a teacher you need to have a love for what you are teaching about. Your love for the Lord should be clear for all to see. Your teaching should reflect you knowing Jesus.
Spend more time in prayer and in God’s Word.
Oswald Chambers said “Prayer does not equip us for greater works, prayer is the greater work.” Remember that any change that happens in the children’s life has not been done by you, but through God’s power. Ask God to help you in your teaching—to make it both interesting and easy for the children to understand. If you are trying to teach your classes in your own strength, you may be drained and tired. Rely on God’s strength as you teach your lessons. Remember, the same God who parted the Red Sea, closed the lion’s mouths, and created the world with His words is the God who is working in and through you as you teach. Sometimes you may doubt your ability as a teacher, feel overwhelmed, or get completely fed up. Take a breath, think about what you are teaching, and remember this is the God you serve. If Jesus could calm the storm, He can certainly calm your Sunday school class. Cry out to God for help!
Every Christian is called to play their part in the body of Christ. As a Sunday school teacher, your part includes teaching the next generation. Be thankful for that! Not everyone is called to be a teacher, and it is a huge responsibility to undertake. Don’t doubt what God can do through your teaching. You won’t always see the impact you have in sharing God’s Word week to week. God wants to reveal Himself to the children in your class, and He is using you to do it. Thank God for the part He has given you.
God wants to reveal Himself to the children in your class, and He is using you to do it.
You can be passionate about sharing the Gospel—whether with 1 child or 100. If you have been a Sunday school teacher for 50 minutes or 50 years—keep on teaching! Rely on God’s strength, and remember why you teach. The Gospel message needs to be shared with children and God can work through you, even amid the chaos. Never give up!
Want to spend more time in God’s Word?
Check out our video series entitled ‘Today’s Hot Scripture’. In each video, Reese Kauffman, our president, shares passages of scripture that had an impact on his life and hopes that they will impact your life as well.