In Part 1, I said that I wish most Sunday School classes started on time. But starting late is a common trait in many classes whether they have 45 minutes or an hour. There I asked two questions: What does being late communicate to members and guests? What is missed when classes don’t start on time?
In Part 1, I expanded on six of the eleven benefits of starting on time from Benefits of Starting Sunday School on Time. In Part 2, I will expand on the last five benefits of starting Sunday School on time:
More arrive on time. Starting on time encourages more people to arrive on time. Peer pressure becomes an additional influence.
Kids get more out of class. Arriving on time, helps parents drop off their kids to take full advantage of their own classes. Fewer interruptions means more learning.
Problems identified quickly. When classes start on time, it is easier for Sunday School leadership to identify any problems quickly (such as a missing teacher, space problems, etc.). Faster solutions are essential in every age group.
Ending on time. Starting on time helps end class on time. Starting on time consistently helps with lesson preparation and presentation plans.
Eases children’s fears. Starting on time (and ending on time) allows parents to leave class on time to pick up children. This helps them avoid being the last children picked up with fear of being left. I have seen this personally while substituting recently in a preschool class.
Changing Lateness. How can you deal with a class which consistently starts late? This is a teacher issue. Consider these actions:
- Teachers should be enlisted with the expectation that they will arrive at least 15 minutes early (before official start time).
- New teachers should be held accountable during those early weeks by a coach.
- Ongoing teachers should have someone who holds them responsible to give God and the class his/her best effort by fulfilling the teacher job description and/or teacher covenant.
- When lateness occurs, it should be dealt with individually, privately, and immediately.
- When chronic lateness occurs, the teacher may need to be moved to another place of service.
Difficulty occurs when the problem is ignored early. In those cases, special meetings may be needed in which to seek some agreement between Sunday School leaders and the teacher having difficulty arriving early.
Obviously, prayer should accompany enlistment, coaching, and holding teachers accountable to give God and their classes their best efforts. God deserves our best. Start Sunday School on time. Change lives! Be revolutionary!