Tips for the First-Time Teacher – Part 14
34. Consider emphasizing the church theme
in your cue card throughout the year.
For example, our church theme this year at North Valley Baptist Church is “The Year of the Bible: God’s Word Shall Stand.” A few months prior to the start of 2011, my pastor encouraged the adult Sunday school teachers to consider taking the first quarter of the new year (January-March) and teaching verse-by-verse or chapter-by-chapter through a book of the Bible, depending on the length of the book. Pastor also produced several different Bible-reading schedules for our church family and friends, including the children: (1) reading the entire Bible in one year, (2) reading the entire Bible in one month, (3) reading the New Testament in one year, and (4) reading Psalms and Proverbs in one year. In our church bulletin, he includes a Scripture verse or several verses for God’s people to memorize every week. In our church foyer, he leaves printouts of various songs about the Bible like “The Bible Stands,” etc. Many of our Sunday school teachers and children’s church preachers then take some or all of this information and include it in their class bulletins or weekly announcements.
In our Sunday School Times (a weekly newsletter for our Sunday school teachers and workers), Bro. Moyer, our Sunday School Director, has begun including various activities and projects that center on learning or using the Bible. For example, this past Wednesday, the newsletter had an entire segment about ways to teach kids how to use their Bibles. There were games and exercises on how to identify and spell books, put books in order, identify key verses or characters or themes in each book, and memorize various passages of Scripture. I believe he will try to continue including these tips throughout the year to keep the theme in front of the teachers and workers.
Now, perhaps some of you are thinking that highlighting your church theme in your classes will be a challenge. First, ask your pastor or Sunday School Director for suggestions. If you have a missions theme, they might suggest praying for one missionary each week or including different missions stories in your class bulletin or talking about missions once a month. If you have a soul-winning theme, they might suggest organizing a weekly time of soul winning with your students or telling stories of great soul winners of the past or having students share salvation testimonies each week.
Second, maybe try 5W-1H. In my English class, when a student comes to me with writer’s block, I suggest he try something I was taught years ago: 5W-1H (who, what, when, where, why, and how). How it works is that you come up with questions beginning with each word and then figure out how you will answer those questions. In this case, the answer might be an activity, a project, etc. So, let’s say your theme is about the Christian home or something similar. For “where,” the question might be “Where can I find good or poor examples of Christian homes in the Bible?” You might write down those Scripture references and make a Sword drill activity out of them.
In closing, there really “is no new thing under the sun.” The ideas and activities and projects and games and resources are out there. I might have mentioned this some months ago; but Miss Janelle, my helper in the Patch the Pirate program, can come up with fun games at the drop of a hat. I, on the other hand, am pretty much worthless in this category. Games I come up with are usually met with a collective groan. So, if you’re grasping at straws as I do many a time, don’t worry too much. There’s always someone else who knows a bit more.