There’s Just Not Enough Time: How Can a Sunday School Teacher Do It All?

Monday 14th August, 2006

Revolutionary Sunday School demands an answer to this question. First, you are not alone. In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20, NIV), Jesus reminded us "And surely I am with you always." In addition to the Lord's strength, presence, and help, others are available to assist us much as they were for Elijah even when we feel alone (1 Kings 18:22). Our power, direction, and help comes from above. That which He desires for us to do, we will be able to do.

Second, if you are trying to do it all yourself, there is no hope. Part of your job is to "prepare God's people for works of service" (Ephesians 4:11-12, NIV). Yes, I understand that it often takes more time to hand off a responsibility than it would take to do the task yourself. But think long term and give it away. In Josh Hunt's book, You Can Double Your Class in Two Years of Less, he says, "Sometimes the only way others will pick up the ball is if we drop it."

DropBall.jpg

Third, never do a task alone. Mentor others toward taking responsibility:

  • I do, you watch,
  • I do, you do,
  • You do, I watch, and
  • You do, while another watches.

Fourth, discover the SHAPE of your members:  spiritual gifts, heart (passion), abilities, personality, and experiences. Help them to find their place to be fulfilled and to be fulfilling. Like laundry, Christians who sit and soak tend to sour. Hold your members accountable to find a place of service in and through the class and beyond where they can make a difference.

Fifth, be strategic with your time. Choose wisely how to invest your time. Invest in the Kingdom. Ask class members to help you make choices (often they will pick up what is important from the remainder). Your apprenticing efforts can pay huge dividends. Remember Jesus' example in investing even more time in Peter, James, and John. One-on-one discipleship often produces more results than one-on-group.

Last, take one step at a time. Mentor one person at a time. If you try to juggle too many balls, you will risk dropping them all. Remember Isaiah 40:31 (NIV): "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Be revolutionary:  don't do it all! For some additional suggestions, look at this article:  How Can a Sunday School Teacher Do It All?

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