Tips for the First-Time Teacher – Part 6
22. If possible, match at least one activity during the class hour with the theme of the Bible lesson or the account referenced.
My pastor does this when our church family observes the Lord’s Table; the entire service is usually centered on a specific theme, the most recent one being “The Cross.” The service opened with a solo sung by a man in our church; the song was “The Cross Said It All.” A men’s group then sang “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary.” The church family then sang hymns about the cross like “At the Cross” and “He Died for Me.” As the deacons distributed juice and wafers, the piano player played on the piano songs about the cross such as “Calvary Covers It All” and “Nothing But the Blood.”
Some time ago, during Bible Time, I taught my preschool class about Nehemiah. My workers and I had already planned to use playing blocks to demonstrate the building of that wall, what happened in the Bible to make it fall, etc. Afterward, during Snack Time, my workers and I distributed wafers—those long rectangle ones you can buy at the grocery store—and asked the children to build their own walls. We knew we could claim the activity, an overt tie-in to the lesson, a success when one of the children said that he was building a wall “just like Nehemiah.” I must admit, though, that more than one child claimed to be building walls “just like the teacher,” so it wasn’t an absolute victory.
23. Have music playing when your students enter the classroom.
When you visit North Valley for a church service, you’ll hear music nearly everywhere before the service begins—in the hallways, in the auditorium, even outside! Visitors know there is joy and life in the Lord’s house because they can sense it before the service starts.
If you have a piano player in your class, ask him or her to play some of the more upbeat songs in your hymnbook like “Rescue the Perishing” or “Stand Up for Jesus” maybe ten to fifteen minutes before class begins. If you don’t know of any good piano players in your church, you could play a CD like “Piano Preludes” (This CD is produced by our publications ministry.)
For children’s classes, you might consider CDs like “Sunday School Singalong” from Majesty Music or “Toddler Tunes” from Faith Music Missions. We use “Sunday School Singalong” in our Kidz’ Kampus hallways.
Do be careful with your music selections. If it is not a CD that is played in your church hallways or sold in your church bookstore, you should firstask your pastor or Sunday school director for approval.