What does it take to be an effective Sunday School teacher? What are some of the skills that good teachers possess?
There are numerous skills that make a person an effective leader in the Sunday School, but maybe the most important is his/her people skills. Sunday School is about people. It is about how to teach, motivate, inspire, lead, minister to, pray for, touch, and transform people into the image of Jesus (at least create an atmosphere and present His Word so that the Holy Spirit can do His work).
Sunday School is people!!!
If Sunday School is people, then the leader of the Sunday School class should be good with people. What are the components that an effective Sunday School leader needs to be good with people?
- Self aware – be able to know yourself, your relationship with Christ, your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Sensitive – notice people, see what is going on behind the masks that class members wear, be willing to get involved in their lives, be aware of things going on in class members lives so that you help protect them in class discussions and teaching.
- Vulnerable – people follow and trust a leader who is open with them about his/her own struggles in life. Of course there are limits to this, but being tasteful in sharing personal stories and life questions can help people relate to you.
- Caring – comes from understanding who you are in Christ. You are His child
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and He lives in you. Because He lives in you and He is love, then that love lives in you and is waiting for you to pour it out on those around you.
- Listener – Dale Carnegie says in How To Win Friends and Influence People that we all love to talk about ourselves. If we want to gain peoples trust and build positive relationships, learn to be a good listener and ask questions of people. Ask and then . . . . listen!!
- Growing – be a leader that is pursuing an ever improving relationship with Jesus. Don’t be satisfied with your current spiritual condition; continue to grow in knowledge, grace and peace.
- Seeking – to lead others to new levels of spiritual maturity and new experiences with Jesus in their daily walk with Him.
“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another,” 1 John 3:11 (HCSB)
Steve McNeil serves as Church Health and Communications Team Leader for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.