I mentioned in Part 1 that I was thinking about Sunday School lessons that are interesting and those that help me make spiritual progress as a disciple. I asked a couple of questions: Can a lesson be interesting but not help me grow as a disciple? Can a lesson help me make spiritual progress but not be interesting?
I believe they can be neither or either. But what can we do to ensure lessons are BOTH interesting and disciple-making? In this four-part series, I am sharing a dozen ways Sunday School teachers can make lessons interesting AND disciple-making. In Part 1, I shared the first three: be confident, believable, and passionate. In Part 2, I shared three more: be knowledgeable, compassionate, and a clear communicator. In Part 3, I will share three more:
- BE A ROLE MODEL. Your life speaks loudly. So let it do so intentionally. Live for Jesus. Lead others to do so. Take people with you. Mentor them. Show them how relationally along life’s paths. Be honest and transparent that you struggle and need help. Challenge them to give their best to God. Allow them to hold you accountable to do the same. Live a pure life. Invest in a daily quiet time. Spend time regularly beyond Sunday morning with class members and prospects. Being a role model has dramatic impact on attention and retention of a lesson. Be a role model.
- BE CREATIVE. Lead and teach creatively. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Use methods to address learning styles. Choose the teaching method that communicates the truth of God’s Word in the best possible way to that group of people. If you need help being creative, don’t be afraid to brainstorm with others. Read. Observe life. Share stories. Try something new. Teach your class how to be creative in following God daily. Creativity adds much to making a lesson interesting but also makes a lesson memorable and more likely to result in life-change. Be creative.
- BE FLEXIBLE. This one relates to the last one. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Rearrange the chairs/the room. Move from rows to a circle. Move from a circle to groups of three or four. Meet somewhere new. If the weather is nice, meet outside. Try a restaurant (make sure to let your director and pastor know so they can tell guests who show up looking for you). Start the lesson differently. Move announcements and prayer to the end of the lesson. Plan to do fellowships and projects in new ways. Try a progressive fellowship/meal. For help thinking of ways to be flexible, consider my suggestion from the last one: brainstorm with others. And also be flexible about your plans. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Be sensitive to the needs of the group. Stop to pray when it is needed. Go another direction with the lesson or fellowship plans if that would be best. Be flexible.
How do your lessons measure up? Do your attenders see you as a role model, creative, and flexible? On which of these do you need to focus? What can you do to take steps in that direction? In Part 4, I will share three final ways Sunday School teachers can make lessons interesting and disciple-making: be facilitative, a life-long learner, and a step-planner. Care enough to invest time to encounter God. Be an example. Be creative and flexible. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!