FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
BY FRED E. KINZIE
Walking through our doors, down our aisles and into our classrooms are some of the most important and valuable people in existence. Jesus said: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). All the gold and silver in this world, as valuable as it may be, does not equal the value of just one soul.
As Sunday school teachers we take many of these souls under our care every week. What are we doing to insure that they are not lost to God? What influences are we casting in their direction that lights a spark of hope within them? Are they just numbers that occupy the chairs in our classrooms? Are we concerned only with how many or how few there are? Are we diligent in planting something of tremendous value within them that will stick with them, that will help them fashion correctly the direction their lives will take?
A teacher can pass on to their students several very important ingredients. Perhaps of these the most important is influence. What you are is the most important treasure you have to give. This is not something they hear, but what they feel. Do you take a prayed up, close relationship with God to the class with you each Sunday? If you have touched or been touched by the Lord, you will carry that to your students without even thinking about it. If you have not touched or been touched by the Lord, you will carry that too.
Before your students can love the Lord, they must love you first. When they leave your class, an image of you and your love for God should be foremost in their minds. Your conduct and your care in loving them should be that which they remember most about Sunday school. God forbid if all they think about is getting out and away from you. Be sure to smile. Be sure you dress attractively and smell good!
Another item will be your concern, your intense interest in the welfare of your students. You will not see just a class to be taught but individuals who are looking to you for direction. They are looking for direction on how to find God and how to live godly lives. You must teach them how to develop right attitudes towards others and a host of other things that embellish a life lived for God.
They will feel your genuine concern for them if you have it. Individualize each student by calling his or her name in each class session. To notice them is to demonstrate your concern for them. They will love you for it, for their name is the most important name in the entire world to them.
Perhaps the least of importance is the content of your teaching. All is in vain if the first two ingredients are missing. If present, however, everything you teach will be anointed with power and will assuredly impact your students.
What you teach must be scripturally correct. Your lesson should be the result of diligent study and prayerfully prepared with your students in mind. If the contents of the lesson are about Jesus, you must teach with tenderness and love for Him so your students will identify with Him.
You must always keep in mind that this may be the only teaching they will ever receive about Him. Some of the students you encounter may never again have the opportunity to sit in your class. Do your best to make your students feel that Jesus loves them, cares for them and wants to save them.
You are handling precious cargo, teacher, so never let this thought flee from your mind. You must consider each student as important to God, a potential candidate of the Bride of Christ. He or she may never return to your class, but it is possible they will hear something that will effect their life for eternity. Give your best to God, to the church and to your students.
The above was printed in the March, 1998, Ohio Apostolic News.
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