Have you just agreed to serve for the first time as a Sunday School teacher/small group leader? Are you returning as a teacher/leader after taking a short or a long break? Have you shifted from one group to another group? Are you helping to launch a new group?
Congratulations on responding to God’s call and the church’s invitation to serve as a teacher/leader. You have an awesome opportunity this year to impact the lives of attenders and those they touch through your teaching, example, and leadership. Make the most of every encounter!
I want to suggest some simple actions that can pay big dividends as you prepare for your first day together with your new class:
- PRAY. Begin now to pray for your group. Get a class list and pray for members by name. Obtain a list of prospects and pray for them by name. Pray for what happens in the classroom as well as between class sessions. Pray launch week. Pray for your preparation. Pray for opportunity to share Jesus and to challenge disciples to move from milk to meat. Prayerwalk the classroom, praying over every seat and decisions that will be made in each of them. Ask for God’s help and leadership. Confess your sin and weakness and admit your dependence on Him. Surrender yourself to Him.
- CONTACT ALL CLASS MEMBERS. If the group is small, make a visit. In this age of word processing, letters can be sent quickly even to large group. But consider contact members by phone and/or e-mail in addition to a letter. A quick visit or call that says who you are, how much you are looking forward to the class, what the first week study is about, and a prayer together can often increase interest and attendance.
- INVITE ALL PROSPECTS IN THE AGE ASSIGNMENT OF THE CLASS. When a teacher/leader starts a new year, it can be a great opportunity to reach out to prospects that have not yet responded. Send them letters/cards. Make phone calls. Consider the agenda in the previous paragraph. Some will try out a class with a new teacher that otherwise might not attend.
- PREPARE THE ROOM. Make sure it is clean and ready. Straighten it up the week before launch Sunday. Throw out old literature. Take down old posters. Prepare the chairs. Prayerwalk the room. Write a welcome on the board. Have new literature ready.
- PREPARE THE LESSON. Start early in the week. Pray over the lesson. Study a little every day. Prepare, as much as you can, to teach the specific individuals you expect to attend. Study God’s Word. Study the teacher’s book and pupil’s book. Look at other resources, if you have them available. Prepare good questions. Plan to use a variety of teaching methods. Allow time for prayer and class business. Focus on presenting and reinforcing one main truth. Allow time for thinking and application of the truth.
- ARRIVE EARLY. Arrive at least 30 minutes early on your first Sunday. Make sure the classroom and resources you need are ready. Then prepare to greet arrivers. Look them in the eye. Learn names. Ideally, have them put on name tags. You might consider sharing some light refreshments. When the official time for Sunday School to start arrives, start on time. You may start with prayer and announcements, etc. or save them until the end–if you do so, then make sure you save enough time. Have fun together. Get everyone to participate. Call attenders by name. Recognize guests. End on time.
- PLAN A FELLOWSHIP FOR THE WEEK PRIOR TO THE LAUNCH. Invite them to your home. Invite them to a restaurant. Have a fun time in the fellowship hall or classroom. Invite those on the class list, family members, and prospects. Eat together. Laugh together. Pass out name tags. This fun time can help you learn names and raise the expectations by participants about what the coming year with the group will be like.
What other action would you suggest for a new teacher? Press the comments button below to leave your suggestions for others who could benefit. Decide to make an impact on lives even before the new year begins! Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
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