Peruse the web and you can find seemingly countless articles and blogs about how to be a better Sunday School teacher. You will find ideas to help a teacher prepare better, charts and processes to involve your class in ministry. You can find inspirational videos that will motivate a teacher to pursue excellence in their teaching and the importance of making disciples.
But what you probably will not find is something that every Sunday School teacher would love to have – class members who voluntarily jump for opportunities to help make their Sunday School class better!
Listed below are seven ways that a member of a Sunday School class can step up and help their teacher.
- Attend! And don’t just attend, but attend enthusiastically! Come early and look for opportunities to help your teacher (or your child’s teacher) with room set up or final preparations.
- Study! I am amazed at classes that do not order or provide student books for their members and guests. What we are basically saying is, “Teacher, you have the responsibility to do all the work and study, and then you better teach me in a way that I like.” If you really want to help your teacher, study the Bible passage during the week and read the commentary in your learner guide. Ultimately, you are responsible for your spiritual growth, not your teacher! Your teacher will love the extra insight you bring to class with you, and so will everyone else!
- Volunteer. Be proactive. Take the pressure off your teacher to do everything. Ask if they would mind if you organized the next class fellowship. Perhaps you could call absent class members, or offer to follow up on guests each week.
- Remember their birthday. Write it down on your calendar and instead of mentioning it in class (which is better than nothing), organize the group to bring individual birthday cards to class and present them to the teacher. Remember the teacher’s spouse too, and their anniversary!
- Be authentic. Trust me, your teacher wants your class to be personable and authentic. But there is a prerequisite for authenticity – you have to be vulnerable. I have found that groups appreciate and respond to vulnerability. Too often, the pressure is on the teacher to be the vulnerable one. Give him or her a break, and open up and share.
- Look for the “lonelies”. Your teacher has a lot on her mind during Sunday School. Often, if she does notice someone who is alone, she is not always in the best position to help. But a class member is in the perfect position to sit by someone who is sitting by themselves, or appears shy or lonely. I have noticed that when one person in the class becomes friends with solitary people in the class, it becomes infectios and more and more class members look for ways to help.
- Pray. Remember that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Pray for your teacher personally. Pray for their study and preparation time. Remember to intercede for their family. Sunday School teachers have the same issues with their kids and spouses as everyone else.
If you are a pastor or Sunday School director, I encourage you recommend this article to your church members. Your teachers will appreciate it!