Starting a New Year of Sunday School, Part 1

Monday 7th August, 2017
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A new year of shepherding the disciples in your Sunday School class is near. What will you do to get ready?

My wife is a middle school math teacher. For her, there are four important areas of preparation for the new school year:  training, planning, room preparation, and relationships. In this four-part series, I want to focus on those four areas of preparation as they relate to Sunday School. In Part 1, I will focus on training.

Your Lord and His sheep in your care deserve your best efforts. That means training is needed: for new ideas as well as improvement of current practice. What kind of training will help you become even more effective? Consider these six ideas as you start this new year of Sunday School:
  • FOCUS. Determine your area(s) of greatest need. Start by addressing priorities. If you need help thinking of the most important areas needing focus, talk to a friend, your Sunday School director, or your pastor.
  • READ BOOKS. Read books and commentaries which help you better understand the context/background of Bible books you will be studying. Read books about teaching, reaching, and member care. I would encourage you to get a copy of my book, Disciple-Making Encounters: Revolutionary Sunday School. For free help, check out the great short downloadable books (PDF) by my friend, David Francis. Read books about the generation(s) in your age group: Silent, Boomers, Busters, etc.
  • READ ARTICLES/BLOGS. There are many sources for help here. There are many blogs offering devotionals and teaching plans that accompany LifeWay curriculum series and others. Sunday School University offers video previews of LifeWay series lessons for reasonable prices. This blog with over 1,200 posts is very searchable. You can also search the web and find much useful information--just be careful to check out the reliability of the source.
  • ATTEND CONFERENCES. Ask your pastor/Sunday School director to bring in a trainer or training team for your church. Share a topic or a need with your pastor or director. Attend an associational, state, or national conference. Super Saturday is an example here in Kentucky. LifeWay will offer an On Track Sunday School conference in March 2018.
  • MEET WITH A FRIEND OR GROUP. Share ideas. Determine priorities. Read and discuss chapters of books. Take turns preparing or leading the conversation. Add food and childcare as needed.
  • OBSERVE. When you are away from home, attend a Sunday School class. Pay attention to everything. Look at room arrangement. Look at the greeting process. Listen to announcements and prayer requests. Observe the teaching-learning process. What are areas your class does well? What could you or your class learn from this class?

What would you add to this list? Press Comments and share your ideas. Check back for Part 2 where I will focus on the important preparation areas of planning. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about training, check out these blog posts:

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