Relationships matter. How well do you know your class? More importantly, how well does your class know you? You see, it is impossible to teach disciples when they don’t know you or trust you. Transparency aids in both relationships and trust.
Trust is developed as a result of time spent together during which you prove to be honest and dependable. In a Sunday School class, members may learn to trust a teacher who prepares and arrives weekly, but that teacher can damage the trust that has been earned by a poor example, such as gossip.
What about Transparency?
Transparency for the teacher is being the real you. Are you perfect? No. Do you make mistakes? Yes. It is essential for those in your class to recognize that their imperfect teacher is on the journey of living the Christ-life with them.
If you never admit your struggles or mistakes, the class may find your example to be too difficult to follow. When you make a relational mistake, apologize. If you failed to do something you committed to accomplish, admit it and apologize. When you struggle with obeying the truth of the lesson, be honest. What might that look like? Consider these statements as examples:
- Class, I owe you an apology. I have been so busy this month that I completely forgot to be the example I need to be in inviting someone to our class fellowship last night. Will you forgive me? I plan to invite a workmate to our next one.
- I was really convicted about the lesson this week because of a grudge I have against my neighbor.
- This lesson reminded me that I have been very impatient with my family recently. In fact, last night I confessed to them and asked each of them to forgive me.
- Class, Bob and I have been angry and arguing with each other the last couple of weeks. I want you to ask you to pray with me that he and I can work through the issues and reconcile.
I am not advocating confessing your deepest, darkest secrets. As a teacher, I hope you have none of those! But what I am challenging you to do is to encourage those in your class to keep trying rather than giving up. Living as Christ’s disciples means we keep moving toward maturity even after we stumble.
For more on transparency, check out Is Transparency a Requirement for Revolutionary Sunday School? Be transparent. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!