Sunday school ministry is one of the most rewarding opportunities you can have. At the same time, it can also be frustrating at times. A good teaching and a good rapport with kids in your ministry can minimize challenges along the way.
There are three checkboxes you need to tick before you can begin your Sunday school ministry. You must be a born-again Christian with a heart for God. A deep, sincere commitment and love for God and His Word should be the foundation for your ministry. A Sunday school teacher should also love people and children in particular. This is such an important quality because Sunday school ministry is not just teaching but understanding and building a relationship with kids in their journey with God. And finally, a passion for teaching. You must love what you do and be excited about the impact it can have on children.
Many Sunday school teachers come with prior teaching experience from schools and homes. They have the required and necessary competence to deal with kids. There are also many first-timers, for whom teaching at Sunday school could be a new experience and overburdening. Whether you are an experienced or a newbie, the teaching tips in this article will help you to teach better, connect with kids, and make a lasting impact on them. Here are your 3 tips to help you teach better at your Sunday school.
Make your lessons understandable to kids. This is a very important aspect of your teaching. The goal is to help kids understand and learn. A teacher must never miss the end goal of teaching which is the transformation of the children. Teachers make the mistake of passing on too much information that may or not be necessary for the learning process. Learn to keep your lesson simple. One way to accomplish this is by using language that kids will be familiar with. Be intentional to use kid-friendly vocabulary.
You can also employ other techniques to help kids understand what you are teaching. Create an environment for healthy conversations in the classroom. Ask the right open-ended questions to stimulate their thinking. Initiate and encourage small group discussions amongst themselves and with you. Another powerful way to help kids understand what you are teaching is to incorporate different learning styles. Each child is unique and learns in a different way. Research on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence and integrate those styles into your lessons.
Make your lessons memorable to kids. The goal is to help kids remember what they’ve learned. For this, you need to break down your lesson points into easy, simple points. That way kids don’t have to struggle to remember their learnings. Repeat and reinforce your lesson points by asking kids to reflect on their learning. That way, the lesson points are strengthened and sticks with the kids in the long term.
Another way to help kids remember is to have great, dramatic opening and closing impressions in your lessons. Kids are more likely to remember the lessons as it involves their emotions and senses. John Roberto writes “Today’s younger generations learn best in the environment that is interactive, participatory, experiential, visual and multisensory.” Experiential learning makes learning memorable.3
Make your lessons applicable to kids. This is because kids will not learn and understand if it does not make sense to them. They should be able to apply it to their own contexts. It should be applicable to them. Learn to make connections between your lesson and the real-life issues they might be going through. Engage with them on those topics and make your lesson points relevant and applicable.
Very often, teachers make the blunder of bribing children to memorize, sing, or learn their lessons with rewards. Rather, kids should be taught to have their own innate motivation for doing what they are doing. They should be instructed on the importance and meaning of their learnings, and the application which ultimately becomes their actions.
While trying to make your lessons more understandable, memorable, and applicable, begin with good preparation, prayer and sincere desire to do your best.