As a Sunday school teacher or Bible Club leader, it is important to nurture and develop in yourself the qualities and skills you need to relate to children in a helpful way. The first part of this article was posted on March 22. Here are six additional questions to ask yourself:
5. Am I innovative and creative?
Creative ideas are valuable only when they are actually implemented. A creative Bible Club leader must be able to dream up ideas as well as make those ideas happen. In addition, creative leaders must be able to take someone else’s idea and make it a reality in their own group.
There are many ways to get good ideas. Obviously the entire All-Stars for Jesus Bible Club program is designed to provide you with simple, easy-to-use ideas. Many Sunday school curricula contain helpful teaching suggestions. In addition, it is very important to listen. Listen to the students. Listen to the parents. Listen to other children’s ministry workers. And from what you hear, you should be able to adapt your teaching materials to work with your group.
Always be open to new ideas or new ways of doing things. Just because you haven’t seen something work, don’t assume it won’t work. Even if you tried something before and it didn’t work, be willing to give it a second chance.
6. Am I happy with myself?
Teachers and leaders who have committed their lives to Christ and are reasonably happy with themselves won’t be devastated when the first student acts up. And they won’t give up the first time something doesn’t go as planned. Furthermore, happy leaders and teachers won’t manipulate students to achieve “manufactured” results; they will minister to the students for Jesus’ sake.
Have fun with the students you’re trying to reach. Go to their homes. Go to their ball games and school plays. Play video and computer games with them. Be their friend.
7. Am I hungry for spiritual results?
The effective Bible Club leader or Sunday school teacher has a drive to accomplish and an urge to compete against the world for the attention of young students. You should have an insatiable hunger to see young people brought to a place of personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Develop a hunger for more spiritual growth in your own life as well as in the lives of those to whom you minister.
8. Do I use common sense?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.” Anyone who works with other people must realize that the key to success is not intelligence; the key to successful relationships is awareness of others, a willingness to learn, the ability to cope with the unexpected and genuine interest and caring for others.
These attributes are vital to successful leadership of students. Use common sense. Be flexible. Learn to respond to the needs and moods of your students, as well as to the situations they face and the environments in which they live. Help them cope with the situations in their homes and show them how to deal with the mistakes they make. One of your most important responsibilities as a teacher and leader is to minister to the everyday needs of your young students.
9. Am I tactful?
Effective Christian leadership calls for tact, persuasiveness and humor. You’ll need these attributes to overcome resistance to change and because you’ll work with many different people. Some teachers and leaders become so wrapped up in their “mission” that they become tactless, abrasive and disruptive, to the point they simply run over people in a rough-shod, uncaring manner. Your true goal and mission must be to respond to the needs of each individual student in kind, loving, tactful ways.
When you take the time to tactfully sell your ideas, to laugh a little (even at yourself, when necessary) and show you care, you will be more fun to be around, your students will notice and you will be able to accomplish a great deal for the kingdom of God.
10. Do I have courage?
Any role of leadership demands courage. To succeed as a leader or teacher, you have to take risks. Probably some of your meetings and lessons won’t be great successes. Some of your parties might flop. You might face some touchy situations you’ll wish you hadn’t gotten into.
It will take courage to go to a parent regarding his or her child. It will take courage to help your students deal with issues they might face: bullies, parent divorces, depression, cliques, broken relationships and more.
Molding a child’s life is truly an awesome responsibility, but Jesus provided powerful encouragement when He said, “It is not the will of your Father…that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14) Although some of your students may not be so little anymore, this promise proves that the person who is committed to nurturing the spiritual life of a child or teenager is working in cooperation with the will of God! You can be assured then, that the Lord will direct you and guide you as you seek to guide children to love and serve Him.