Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday School Teachers—Architects in Children's Lives

How Sunday school teachers interact with their students has been compared to the job of counselor, advisor, peer, and coach. But the best description of a Sunday school leader or teacher is as an architect.

An architect designs buildings, planning for physical stress, making them as functional as possible, and creating them to be pleasing to the eye. But once the design is finished, the architect's role stops. He has to let other people lay the brick and pound the nails. he has to let other people live and work in the buildings whether or not he likes how they live and what they do. An architect may work on a projects for months or even years, so his job requires patience and endurance. Yet the architect is simply a planner; others will actually create the buildings and use them. Yet often the architect is blamed if something goes wrong.

In may ways, a Sunday school teacher's job is similar to the role of an architect. It takes patience and endurance. A Sunday school teacher can only influence the students with whom he or she works. The students will be the ones who decide how they will respond to the "plan" the Sunday school teacher has presented to them.

As an "architect" in helping develop the lives of your students, your responsibilities as a leader in ministry can include the following:
  • Lead weekly Bible lessons.
  • Plan and help lead parties and special activities.
  • Work closely with the students and parents in creating lessons and events that interest them and help to meet their spiritual needs.
  • Get to know each child in your group by name.
  • Visit your students in their homes. Invite them to your house or to the church for a special activity, fellowship event, or party.
  • Develop a solid relationship with each child. Be sure all children are nurtured—not just a few.
  • Have periodic prayer and sharing sessions with the pastoral staff of your church. Communicate victories and needs to them for prayer and assistance.
  • Personally pray regularly for each student individually and for your ministry in general.
  • Faithfully attend the services of your church (and bring your Bible), not only because you need the spiritual nourishment but also because you are an example to the children who are watching you.
  • Live an exemplary, Christ-honoring life before your students.
  • Recognize that everything is the Lord's work—your career, your family, trips and getaways, and even baking cookies for your Sunday school class.
  • Honor the time of others. Be responsible and plan ahead before meetings. 
  • Have respect for those in authority over you.
"Developing caring Christian relationships" best sums up the role and results of effective children's ministry. The leader who establishes and nurtures Christian relationships with students and their parents while growing in his or her own relationship with Jesus Christ, will experience great joy and effectiveness as a servant leader.

No comments: