The Sunday School Teacher
Divinely Commanded: Jesus said, "Feed My lambs" (John 21:15) and "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14).
Purpose: The purpose of your task is to lead precious blood-bought souls to Christ. Remember the Savior’s words, "It is not the will of your Father Who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish" (Matthew 18:14). Also bear in mind John’s statement of the purpose of His Gospel, "These are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life through His name" (John 20:31).
Only One Means: The only means through which this divinely intended purpose of your task can be accomplished is the Word of God. Jesus said, "Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20).
Goal: This task is not for your glorification, but for the glory of God. God is glorified whenever His Word is preached and when, through that Word, sinners are led to Him, whether they be children or adults. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified, through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:11).
Success: The success of your task is assured by God. "[The Gospel of Christ] is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). "So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).
CARRYING OUT YOUR TASK
- Read the story as it is found in the lesson
- Read the story in the Bible, especially noting its context and any parallel accounts/cross-references
- Study the Teacher’s Notes and other available information (commentaries, notes from the Sunday School Teacher meetings, etc.)
- Meditate on the main thoughts of the story
- Prepare and frame questions and a lesson plan
- Note the memory material and the reason for its selection
Seven Laws of Teaching:
- A teacher must be one who knows the lesson or truth or art to be taught.
- A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson.
- The language used between the teacher and the learner must be common to both.
- The lesson to be mastered must be explained in the terms of truth already known by the learner—proceeding from the known to the unknown.
- Teaching is arousing and using the pupil’s mind to grasp the desired thought or to master the desired art.
- Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth or working into habit a new art or skill.
- The test and proof of completed teaching—the finishing and fastening process—must be reviewing, rethinking, reknowing, reproducing, and application of the material that has been taught.
The Sunday School session should be a form of worship, not a mere lesson in memory material. It should be more than just learning facts, more than a good story. It is, rather, an actual happening which God has written for our learning. We should know the facts and then also the truth which those facts teach and how they apply to our own lives, our own salvation, etc.
Children should receive the impression that religion is not a matter of a few verses or stories studied during the Sunday School session, but that it is a constant attitude and condition of the mind and heart…