Being a Sunday School teacher for children and teens is a special calling. There are many wonderful Christian men and women who spend countless hours and a good bit of their own money to try and provide your child with the most meaningful Bible class experience possible.
Sadly, there are also those who are guilted into the position. These well meaning, but often unmotivated individuals may barely scan a teacher’s manual at the last possible second and pray the worksheets provided will last the entire class – if they let the kids talk awhile before starting.
Sunday School (in some churches there are also week night classes once a week) was probably created to give children some additional time each week in Bible study. Most classes also tried to make some attempt to begin teaching children to apply biblical concepts to their every day world. It was never meant to substitute for family or independent Bible study. The classes were a way for churches to provide parents with extra support in their efforts to raise godly children.
As families began to disintegrate, the bus ministries of the 1970’s began. Buses went through neighborhoods picking up children and bringing them to church. Most of these kids came with no parents. Many of the parents used the church as a free Sunday morning babysitter. Sunday School classes were suddenly perhaps the sole source of biblical information for many of these children.
Bus ministries faded in popularity, but families continued to fall apart. Church attendance has become sporadic in most families because of conflicts with secular activities. Sunday School teachers are often scrambling with literature that is either outdated or full of fun things stretched to try and make a scriptural point. Your child’s Sunday School teacher would probably love to partner with you, but doesn’t quite know where to begin.
He or she has their own family responsibilities, a career, household chores and/or other volunteer obligations. She wants to spend more time with the children in her class, but can’t seem to find the time in any of their schedules to make it happen. He would love to be a spiritual mentor for your child, but doesn’t think his offer would be accepted and might even make you angry. She would love to talk with you about concerns or the spiritual growth she has seen in your child, but she has never seen you and hesitates to call a virtual stranger for a telephone conversation about your child.
Your child’s Sunday school teacher can be your biggest ally in helping you raise a godly child. Although some are there only out of guilt, the vast majority are there because they love God and your children. The problem is no one is training parents or teachers how to work together and support each other to your child’s spiritual benefit.
Over the next few posts, I will spend some time suggesting ways for parents and teachers to bridge the gap between home and Church. As the church, we are losing our young people at a terrifying rate. We need to use every weapon in our spiritual arsenal to defeat Satan in his battle for our children. Your child’s Sunday School teacher can be a very important tool in that fight if you know how to use him or her effectively.