Benefits of Starting Sunday School on Time

Tuesday 13th March, 2007


I wish I could say that most Sunday School classes start on time. This is a common trait in lots of classes whether they have 45 minutes or an hour. What does being late communicate to members and guests? What is missed when classes don't start on time? Consider these benefits of starting Sunday School on time:

  • communicates honesty--how honest is a published time to start of 10:00 when the class never shows up or starts until 10:15?
  • allows teacher to prepare for and present a full, life-changing lesson
  • gives the teacher opportunity to utilize multiple teaching methods to intersect with learning styles (rather than only lecture)
  • allows for gathering Sunday School records at a consistent time from all classes
  • allows the class not to rush through or skip prayer time, care and outreach assignments, and announcements
  • provides intentional and spontaneous fellowship time (when more people are present)
  • encourages more people to arrive on time
  • helps parents to be able drop off their kids and take full advantage of their own classes
  • is easier for church staff and Sunday School leadership to identify quickly any problems (such as a missing teacher, space problems, etc.)
  • more often leads to ending class on time
  • allows parents to leave class on time to pick up children before they are the last children causing fear of being left.

How can you deal with a class which consistently starts late? This is a teacher issue. First, the teacher should be enlisted with the expectation that he/she will arrive at least 15 minutes early (before official start time). Second, the new teacher should be held accountable during those early weeks by someone who is coaching him/her. Third, the ongoing teacher should have someone who holds him/her responsible to give God and the class his/her best effort by fulfilling the teacher job description and/or teacher covenant.

Fourth, when lateness occurs, it should be dealt with individually, privately, and immediately. Fifth, when chronic lateness occurs, the teacher may need to be moved to another place of service. Difficulty occurs when the problem is ignored early. In those cases, special meetings may be needed in which to seek some agreement between Sunday School leaders and the teacher having difficulty arriving early.

Obviously, prayer should accompany enlistment, coaching, and holding teachers accountable to give God and their classes their best efforts. God deserves our best. Start Sunday School on time. Change lives! Be revolutionary!

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