Nothing is more powerful than an object lesson that accompanies the taught lesson. The object lesson must be the transformed life of the teacher. This should not be construed to mean that the teacher must be perfect to qualify to teach. We are all on a spiritual pilgrimage to be conformed to the image of Christ. There are, nonetheless, certain essentials that must be non-negotiables.
The teacher must have a clear testimony of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be one who actively shares that faith. It will be virtually impossible to develop a strong evangelistic climate in the Sunday School class if the teacher doesn’t embody the biblical principles related to witnessing.
The teacher should model the Christian home. Here again it will be impossible to teach with conviction about the importance of the family and the home if the teacher does not care for these basic relationships. The stable Christian home is one of the arenas where the church must have an effective witness.
The teacher should practice the Christian disciplines and should give evidence of spending personal time alone with God. The teacher should be known as a person of prayer and devotion. This will give life, conviction, and personality to the teaching. He or she will not be teaching from a lifeless book of history, but from a book that has come alive through personal experience.
The teacher should be a committed churchgoer. Corporate worship, biblical stewardship, and loyalty to the mission of the church will enable the teacher to teach with personal conviction. At one point in a period of rapid growth at Norfolk, we incorporated several lessons on biblical stewardship into our ongoing Sunday School program. We began to sense some reservation on the part of a few classes to utilize the lessons from the quarterly on stewardship. One teacher actually balked and complained that these lessons were timed only to help pay for future expansion. Our Sunday School director offered to provide another teacher as a substitute for those lessons. The original teacher became upset and resigned. We later found through dialogue with the class members that this gentleman had constantly used his platform to complain about the growth of the church. He quite openly admitted that he did not tithe and thus had no desire to teach on money. We found that this had created confusion for class members on this important biblical issue. You simply cannot teach that which you are unwilling to obey.
The teacher should be supportive of the mission and vision of the church. This is not to suggest that a teacher does not have the right to voice concern to church leaders in the proper forum, but it does mean that the teacher should not use the classroom to mount a rebellion against the direction of the church. Once the church has approved a particular plan or project, it is essential that the entire body move forward in unity.
Hemphill, Ken (1996-07-10). Revitalizing the Sunday Morning Dinosaur: A Sunday School Growth Strategy for the 21st Century (pp. 133-134). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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