Advice for effective teaching

What Shall I Tell Them?

Sunday school teachers have a job that requires wholehearted effort, a great deal of time and a sincere desire for the mind of God to teach effectively. They very much need the prayers and encouragement of God's people since so much depends on them. Much responsibility is upon their shoulders, and many lives upon their hearts.

Sometimes teaching a lesson is considered a duty to be prepared for late Saturday night or "on the run" en route to class. Not surprisingly then, this lesson very often comes from the well known realm of David and Goliath, Samson or Jonah, often without any real consideration as to the content of the lesson, making it merely a story. This leaves much to be desired. Then there are those who, like the pendulum swinging to the other extreme, have taken the attitude that prepared and published lessons are better and more effective. Both are wrong, and concern me greatly for BOTH have the same flaw: taking the easy way and leaving God out.

I have nothing whatsoever against teaching the well known stories of the Bible, nor have I any qualms about teaching a well ordered series of lessons. The Lord Jesus Himself referred to the "serpent lifted up" and was orderly in His teaching and parables. I do feel that the teacher must take HIMSELF and HIS LESSON into the presence of God, there to evaluate and consider the lesson and course he desires to teach. We are not after all teaching children to believe, but in WHOM and WHAT they may safely trust their all.

Teach a Truth

My lesson must revolve around a central truth, and be founded upon a clear verse of Scripture. One truth carefully taught and laid hold of, will lead the way to progress in an orderly way to set forth truth that develops upon the first, thus "line upon line and precept upon precept" is the principle.

Prepare and Consider

This will necessitate that the teacher have a clear grasp of the truth as God unfolds it in the Word. This takes time, effort and dependence upon God. As well, it is necessary that the teacher, through questions and familiarity with the student, realize the depth of understanding that the child has. He must also come to grips with any particular problems that the student might have hindering him from grasping certain truths. These problems could easily be one or more of the following: background, environment, character, home life, religious error, or culture.
Though the difficulties are great, the sheer joy of seeing even one rest for eternity on the Rock that never fails, will more than compensate for the effort and endeavor.