The Best Adult Sunday School Teachers are Equippers

Sunday 10th September, 2006

Teacher, what is your goal for your work with your class? What are you trying to accomplish? What do you want your attenders to do as a result of participation in your class? What kind of disciples do you want them to be? How do you want them to be different this year than last year? How do you want them to influence the people around them?

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If you have no goal, that is what you will accomplish this year. Pray and seek God's leadership for where He would like you to lead His sheep, for what He wants you to prepare His sheep to do this year? As a revolutionary Sunday School teacher, be an equipper.

We need to be mindful of Paul's words in Ephesians 4:11-13 (NLT): "He [Jesus] is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ." How are you equipping God's people in your class to do His work and build up the body of Christ?

In The Equipped Sunday School Teacher, Richard Dodge of LifeWay Chistian Resources writes the following about teachers: "Equipper—A teacher must provide instruction that helps people cope with life today and live the life Christ commanded in Matthew 28:18-20. Great Commission teachers know that the command given by Jesus before His resurrection was intended for every follower. Each time a teacher leads a Bible study session, learners should depart to serve and live as transformed believers."

Are your learners being transformed into His likeness? How can you teach to equip them? It begins in personal prayer and Bible study. Then, it depends on your knowledge of your leaners. Putting the two together, your lesson needs to be tailored to accomplish what God wants done in the life of the specific sheep in your class. There are many teaching suggestions in published curriculum, but don't try to do them all. Consider your leaners and choose those methods which help you achieve your target.

Do not try to do too much. Think long term, and then help learners focus on one thing you want them to do as a result of each lesson. Think steps. You may be able to lead them to take baby steps at times and giant steps at others. Lead learners to live, apply, obey the truth. Check on their progress. Call for reports. Help them to know that you and the Lord are serious about equipping them to build up the body of Christ. Help your attenders (members and guests) to find a place of service.

Periodically, stop to evaluate progress. Do so privately and as a class. It may be hard to see progress each week, but quarterly and annually, you should be able to see what is happening in the lives of learners. Strive to be a revolutionary teacher who equips revolutionary Christians. Together, work to change the world, one life at a time. Lord, let it begin in me!

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