This article is about the task of the Sunday school teacher.

Source: New Horizons, 1999. 2 pages.

How to be a Good Sunday School Teacher

Being a good Sunday School teacher requires knowing God, yourself, your material, and your students.

The following checklist is meant to assist you in paying attention to these essential matters.

1. Be Sure of Your Ground.🔗

  • Have assurance of your own per­sonal salvation.

  • Be absolutely and unreservedly committed to the Bible as the inspired Word of God.

  • Make sure that your relationship with others in your church is right.

  • Make sure that you have a good reason for teaching Sunday school.

2. Know what You're Doing.🔗

  • Recognize that one goal of Sunday school is evangelism.

  • Realize that evangelism is not incompatible with nurturing Cov­enant children.

  • Coordinate your work with other church programs (e.g., catechism, youth groups) and with your pastor's sermons.

  • Remember that you're discipling lives, not stuffing heads.

3. Understand Biblical Theology.🔗

  • One helpful resource is Covenants, by Palmer Robertson (available from Great Commission Publications).

  • Never leave Christ out of an Old Testament lesson.

  • Never leave the Old Testament out of the gospel.

  • Always consider how the "already/not yet" analysis applies.

  • Always consider how the story, text, or event with which you are dealing fits into the history of redemp­tion and into the rest of Scripture.

4. Love Your Students.🔗

  • Try to understand each student's personal needs.

  • Phone absentees promptly.

  • Spend some time with students outside of class.

  • Pray for your students individu­ally and regularly.

  • Never "wing it" when you are unprepared; admit it and do some­thing else during class time, rather than trying to teach the lesson anyway.

5. Teach with Enthusiasm.🔗

  • Don't hide your joy, sorrow, etc.

  • Prepare your lesson early in the week.

  • Make the lesson "pinch." Make sure the teaching in it is applied.

  • Know the point of the lesson exactly.

  • Try out the point of the lesson on your spouse or roommate (if you have one), and take his or her reaction seriously.

6. Exercise Discipline.🔗

  • Discipline shouldn't be a prob­lem, if everything else is solid.

  • If a problem occurs, don't embarrass the offender in class; talk to him/her outside of class.

  • Impress on the student the urgency of the matter and the importance of the class.

  • If necessary, talk to the student's parents and enlist their help.

7. Miscellaneous Helps🔗

  • Singing with your class, using a guitar, is excellent.

  • Visuals and object lessons (especially from the area of your own expertise) are powerful aids to teaching.

  • Memory drills, with rewards, are usually welcomed.

  • Don't rush; give your students time to think about what you've said.

  • Don't use class time for small talk.

  • Ordinarily, it is preferable to teach less material better, rather than more material worse.

  • Congratulate your students for their attentiveness, cooperation, etc.

  • Ask your pastor to visit your class unannounced sometime, and don't ask him to pray, teach, or do anything else.

  • Whenever it is possible and relevant, stress the importance of obedience to parents.

  • Be a model to your students (as was Paul to Timothy).

  • Remember that knowledge is unto life.

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