It’s safe to say that pastors and Sunday School leaders want that ministry to go well. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. In fact, “Murphy” seems to show up at the most inopportune times. Mistakes happen, and they can set us back with members and guests. Here are 4 mistakes we make, mistakes that can be avoided so we represent the Lord well each week.
Mistake 1: We don’t prepare like we should. Last-minute preparation is the enemy of Sunday School. If you wait until late in the week to begin your study and preparation, you are almost assured of delivering a sub-standard experience to your group members and guests. Great teachers know that the key is preparation. Legendary football coach Tom Landry once said, “The will to practice must be as great as the will to win.” He knew that preparation was essential to winning. That’s a truth that works on the football field and in the Sunday School classroom.
Mistake 2: We don’t ask the right question & enroll guests. To change Sunday School, we must change one question we ask guests. Instead of handing a guest a guest information card and asking them, “Would you fill this out?”, we should change the question to, “May I enroll you in our group?” Enrolling guests places them on our ministry roll, and that means we have an opportunity to involve them in in our groups at a deeper level. In essence, they’ve given us permission to involve them in new and deeper ways.
Mistake 3: We don’t teach with variety. Too many teachers are in a teaching rut. They teach the same way week after week, and they are highly predictable. If asked, most group members could write out the schedule the group will have during Bible study. That doesn’t make for an exciting Sunday School experience for the group members. Savvy teachers know that they need to keep their group members slightly off balance by varying their teaching procedures each week. God has wired us differently. We learn in different ways. Teaching one primary way prevents us from communicating effectively with people who learn differently than we do.
Mistake 4: We don’t recruit other leaders. This is one of the biggest mistakes we make that negatively affect the ability of our Sunday Schools to grow. Like Moses in Exodus 18, we need to develop other leaders who can share the load of leadership with us. Every teacher should have an apprentice teacher who is being groomed to start another group. And group members should be recruited to leadership roles like prayer leader, fellowship leader, prayer leader, and outreach leader, to name a few.
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