Over the next five weeks, I will be writing a book about Sunday School. During that period, I will be sharing favorite blog posts–those which have received the most hits (pageviews). Here is the number eighteen favorite!
I mentioned in Part 1 that too often “warm bodies” are enlisted as Sunday School teachers. People are enlisted who have not prayed and feels pressured (or worse, guilted) into accepting. Or the candidate’s gifts, passions, personality, or experience don’t match. And most of all, they may sense no call from God to serve in that capacity.
What qualifications should a Sunday School teacher possess? What qualifications should a nominating committee, team, or individual seek in a teacher? In Part 1, I shared a list that was put together by Elmer Towns in a free online resource called How to Grow an Effective Sunday School. In Part 1, I shared the first nine qualifications. In Part 2, I will share the last five qualifications and five duties listed in all capitals followed by my brief commentary:
- A CHEERFUL, RADIANT PERSONALITY. A teacher should be positive and encouraging. His/her expectancy should be infectious.
- A MANIFESTED LOVE FOR [THE ASSIGNED AGE GROUP]. Ideally, this was seen prior to enlistment. Interactions were noted: people enjoyed hearing him/her share as a fellow class member or substitute prior to serving as a teacher and he/she relates well to others during fellowships and projects.
- PATIENCE. Impatience may be a sign of immaturity and can be challenged when working with a group.
- THE ABILITY AND DESIRE TO COUNSEL. A teacher cares about people and wants to help them individually. This comes through teaching time and through person encounters with attenders.
- ORIGINALITY, THE ABILITY TO CREATE AN INTERESTING AND DIVERSIFIED CLASS SESSION. A teacher does more than teach the lesson in the teacher’s book. Instead, the teacher crafts a lesson based upon the truth of a passage of scripture that is needed by individuals in the class. Check out Crafting a Sunday School Lesson to Lead to Learning AND Action.
Towns ends his list of Sunday School teacher qualifications with a simple list of duties:
- REGULARITY IN TEACHING THE CLASS. Regularity is essential for trust, relationships, and effective communication.
- VISITATION IN PUPILS’ HOMES. This is essential in order to build trust, meet needs, and to get to know the learners more personally in order to teach more effectively.
- PUNCTUALITY: BE IN CLASS 15 MINUTES AHEAD OF TIME. When a teacher is late, someone else is in charge. Also, opportunities for creativity and relationship-building are missed. Check out First Impressions: Start Sunday School on Time!, Benefits of Starting Sunday School on Time, andWhen Does Sunday School Begin?.
- ATTENDANCE AT SUNDAY SCHOOL TEAC HERS MEETINGS. The meetings are essential for accomplishing Sunday School work together and for growing as a teacher.
- ACQUAINTANCE WITH PUPILS THROUGH SOCIAL AND OTHER OUT-OF-CLASS GATHERINGS. Monthly fellowships and class projects should be planned to grow the class together and to mobilize them into service. Teachers should join these gatherings.
Make sure to go back and check the list in Part 1. In Part 3, I will share the last five of Town’s teacher qualifications along with five teacher duties. As a teacher, how do you measure up? Not all the way there? Pray and ask God to help you work on your qualifications this year. Give yourself to Him. Give yourself to them. Give your best. Make teaching a priority. Be revolutionary!