ENTHUSIASM AND EXCITEMENT IN THE SUNDAY SCHOOL
By: Richard Pearce
EXCITE: To rouse to feeling, to energize, to increase the activity, to provoke, to stir up.
ENTHUSIASM: Divine inspiration, zeal or interest.
A. INSPIRATION: A supernatural influence which qualifies one to receive and communicate divine truth
B. DIVINE: Of or pertaining to God, Godlike/heavenly
Why is enthusiasm so important?
II Cor. 9:2: For I know the forwardness of your mind…,and your zeal hath provoked (stirred up) very many.
Heb. 10:24: end let us consider one another to provoke (stimulate) unto love and to good works.
II Cor. 3:6: . . . . the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Our spirit of enthusiasm can make someone want what we have more than any sermon we might preach to them.
Did people in the Bible get enthused? If so, how did they act? Throughout the Bible people got enthused and did something to show it.
Joseph must have been enthused when he recognized his brothers and was reunited with his father. Both times he wept.
David danced with enthusiasm when the ark of God returned to Zion.
King Darius got enthused.
Dan. 6:23 says, then was the king exceedingly glad for him. . . . In his enthusiasm, he said–The God of Daniel is a living God.
Elijah got enthused when he heard there ariseth a little cloud . . . He started running and outran Ahab’s chariot.
Andrew got excited when he found the Messiah. The first thing he did was go tell his brother, Simon Peter.
Peter had zeal. He preached to the Jews & Gentiles and was a Leader in the church.
On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost fell on them, they reacted with enthusiasm–they acted as though they were drunk. They staggered.
Paul had zeal. He was not ashamed to preach the gospel. He had a holy boldness.
Woman at the well was excited and enthused after talking to Jesus. She brought Revival to the town.
When a person has Godly enthusiasm today they will do the same things the people in the Bible did—some cry, some dance, some run, some will lead, some will testify, some will preach, some will become drunk in the spirit to the point of staggering. Remember, He is not a God of the dead but of the living. A live person breathes, has a pulse, moves & reacts to what is happening around them.
The same is true spiritually as it is naturally.
Scriptures on Enthusiasm and Zeal
Gal. 4:18: But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you, (not just in church, but always)
. . . Paul was zealous toward God . . . Acts 22:3
Rom. 12:8–We should do what we do for God with zeal and singleness of mind, with genuine cheerfulness & joyful eagerness.
Rom 12:9–Let your love be sincere (a real thing)
Rom 12:11–Never lag in zeal & in earnest endeavor; be aglow & burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord
How D0 We Convey Enthusiasm?
Don’t ever forget that YOU ARE THE KEY TO THE ENTHUSIASM IN YOUR CLASSROOM! It has been said that Jeremiah “lived” his sermons. We must “LIVE” our enthusiasm. It is not something you turn on & off–it is a part of you. Someone might see you when you had your enthusiasm switch turned off one time and it could destroy what they saw when you had the switch turned on. Be real, be consistent–Don’t try to fake it, Be persuaded–believe so strongly it is a neutral part of you–until you cannot be separated from your enthusiasm–IT’S YOU! It is an attitude–a way of life. Laugh, enjoy life, don’t be afraid to laugh, even with others at yourself.
Why Be So Excited? Why Be So Enthused?
Why not? The world is. People go to ballgames, etc., and yell until they are hoarse. They get excited. There was a man at a ballgame once who got so excited he threw a $75 hat in the air and then stomped it into the
ground. He got excited! He threw his arms up and yelled. No one made fun–they were so excited they weren’t paying attention to him. He was doing what seemed natural for the time and place. people have been won to God because someone did not hide, w@s not embarrassed or ashamed to show their spirit of enthusiasm.
How Do You Make It A Natural Part Of You?
Practice using it. Use what you have and God will give you more. God did not supply more meal and oil in the widow’s house until she used all she had.
It cannot be taught–it for God (& all the things of God), love for what you are doing, and love for the people you are doing it with.
Smile, be happy, be positive. Not only will it become contagious–it will make the world a much happier place for you.
To create excitement – YOU MUST BE EXCITED!! To create enthusiasm–YOU MUST BE ENTHUSED!!
Enjoy what you do for the Lord. Phil. 3:l–Finally my brethren rejoice in the Lord. To write the same thing to you to me indeed is not grievous. . . The work of the Lord should not be grievous–it should be exciting–Enjoy it.
Where Does It Come From? How Do You Get It?
In the introduction we said enthusiasm was divine inspiration. Divine things come from God. Enthusiasm/zeal excitement–those are not bad diseases–they are given by Cod. II Tim. 1:6–Stir up the gift of God which is in thee.
Jeremiah knew the secret of getting things from God. God told Jeremiah (33:3) call unto me & I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. Ask God for enthusiasm–He will give you enthusiasm.
Phil 4:19–But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If you need enthusiasm, ask God for enthusiasm–He will supply it.
Matt. 5:6–Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. God given enthusiasm is righteousness (right). Hunger and thirst for it–God promised you shall be filled. There is a spirit or gift of enthusiasm which we can receive from God.
Exciting – Enjoyable – Memorable
The reason you want excitement or enthusiasm in the classroom is not just so that everyone has a good time. The goal is to make the classroom experience enjoyable. If the experience is enjoyable the student will
come back and will bring their friends. But, the ultimate goal is not just having students listen to you talk. The goal is to impart the Word of God and to make it alive, real, and memorable. Your job as a Sunday
School Teacher is to make the entire experience enjoyable so that it will be memorable.
How do you make the classroom experience memorable? I’m going to show you some ways to make the experience memorable & exciting, specific techniques used will have to be adapted to the age and size of the group, but the basic principles remain the same no matter the age or size.
MOVEMENT: The teacher should move. He should not be jumpy and move so much that he distracts, but he should change his position periodically and use his body – arms, face, etc,,–to help him teach. Movement will help keep the students awake and alert to what is going on. Not only should the teacher move while teaching, he should also move every few weeks the place in the room from which he usually teaches. That will keep things changing and more interesting.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: In order to make lessons and stories more interesting to the students, make personal applications, Periodically use stories about yourself to illustrate points. Students like to know
that the lessons directly relate not only to their lives but also to their teacher’s lives. Students enjoy humorous stories about their teachers and can more readily grasp principles from Biblical stories if
comparisons can be drawn to personal experiences. You should also apply the lessons to the experiences of your students. Sometimes use incidents in which you have heard your students were involved to illustrate
points. Of course, you must be careful not to embarrass or humiliate your students, but using them as illustrations can be flattering and effective.
MYSTERY: Everyone likes mystery. When appropriate, add some mystery to it through the way you present the lesson. You can build interest in a lesson by making references to it in the weeks preceding it. You can make vague or intriguing comments that will be explained is a later lesson. Or, you can use mystery guests to help tell a story. Or, you can present your lesson like a puzzle, giving seemingly unrelated scriptures and stories and then finding the common thread to pull it all together. The kind of mystery you can use depends upon the ages of your class and the type of lesson to be presented. But, be creative and build suspense in your presentation.
CONTACT; While teaching, make sure you are making contact. Don’t talk over your students. Don’t look away from them or over their heads. Look them in the eye and make sure you are getting through. Don’t keep talking if no one is hearing. Do something to make contact before going on with the lesson. Students can tell if you are really interested in getting an idea across or if you are merely talking at them. Don’t be
afraid to deviate from your prepared lesson in order to make contact. If you have to, talk about something else until contact has been made. It is not wasted time. Once you have re-established contact, you can lead
the discussion back to the lesson.
VARIETY: Keep things changing, Periodically, re-arrange your room; redecorate your room; use guest teachers; conduct class in a different setting; bring refreshments; have nothing but an hour of discussion;
make things; allow the students to teach; have contests; create games to teach the lessons; etc. By all means, use all means to keep the class lively and the presentations varied!
VISUAL AIDS: It is evident to us all that visual aids help convey messages in memorable ways. Posters or transparencies are not the only kind of visual aids. Think of creative ways to use objects and people to
emphasize and illustrate. The visual aids should be easy to understand and should be used rather quickly. Don’t allow your students attention to be diverted too long to the visual aid. It is an aid, not the lesson.
BREVITY: You may have one hour or two hours of class time to teach your students. Break up the time in several short presentations rather than one long one. The younger the students the shorter should be the
presentations. Once one portion of the class or one type of presentation has been met with boredom by most of your students, quickly go on to something else. students are more likely to be interested by something and remember something from several short presentations than from one long one.
INVOLVEMENT: Allow your students to help teach the lesson through lecture or play-acting, depending upon the age. Allow and encourage participation in discussion. Allow them to help prepare and use the
visual aids. Get the students involved in the preparation and presentation of the lessons and they will get more out of them.
FLEXIBILITY: Be prepared for anything and allow the class to Follow, through your leadership, the natural flow of the mood. Naturally, this can be more easily done with older groups and requires spiritual and
emotional sensitivity. If the class seems particularly interested in one part of the lesson, take advantage of that and pursue it. Don’t be too concerned that you might not get through the rest of your lesson. If
your students want to discuss something, don’t shut them off so that you can finish your lesson, unless, of course, the discussion is meaningless and designed to distract. Go with whatever is working and reaching the students. That will vary from week to week and the good teacher is prepared and willing to follow that and be flexible. ”
As a modern-day representative of Jesus Christ, do we really have a choice? Can we work for God with long faces? Is He saying–Get knowledge, wisdom, and understanding enthusiasm, and zeal. The spirit in which we say or do something may be remembered much longer or have greater impact than what we actually say. This excitement, enthusiasm, zeal is contagious–it is like a row of dominoes–when one touches the
others, the whole line reacts. The more you express enthusiasm, the moreGod will give you. The more you get, the more you will like it!
After three days we remember:
10%–what we hear
50%–what we hear & see
70%–what we hear & see & say
90%–what we hear & see & say & do
95%–what we hear & see & say & do & tell
. . . . Make your class exciting!!!