Requirements for Sunday School teachers

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jonathan, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    Much has been written on the BaptistBoard about training and educational requirements for pastors. What about for Sunday school teachers?

    Preaching, while considered the primary component of a church's teaching, does not involve discussional feedback from the congregation and the type of discourse that is found in the most effective teaching methods (i.e. Socratic, etc...) that is possible and needed in the Sunday school setting.

    With that in mind, what expectations do you set for folks entering the field of Sunday school teaching...other than just being available to fill a slot?
     
  2. mark

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    Not even scratching the surface here, but a SS teacher must be a baptized, born-again, active member of the local church.
     
  3. Jonathan

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    Now that we've established the obvious...how about scratching the surface? Surely we would want more from a preacher than just to be a "baptized, born-again, active member of a local church". So why not have higher expectations of a Sunday school teacher?

    Must a teacher be able to properly handle God's Word? Must a teacher be able to communicate? How do check to see if you teachers can do the above and how do you make sure that folks are trained to do this?

    What I am seeing in most church that I've experienced is that the teacher core is made up of a coalition of the willing and those who were too weak to withstand arm twisting. As a result, the current generation of "Sunday School Graduates" are possibly the most biblically illiterate in the modern era.
     
  4. Loren B

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    In my experience, there are very few "Sunday School Graduates". The churches that I have attended have very light attendance during the Sunday school time. Those who attend get very sound biblical teaching, but it goes to so few. The illiterate come later to the "preaching" service and act as if they already know it all.
    The point is that they neither graduated nor received an attendance certificate. They are biblically ignorant and are content to stay that way.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Hit a nail, here. Most churches take great care in the pulpit ministry, but allow just about anyone to teach SS, children's ministries like AWANA, even teen programs.

    Warm bodies = only requirement.

    Would suggest a couple of courses in teacher training as the MINIMUM. After being sure that they are good Christians, of good reputation, and are seriously "gifted" to teach.

    http://www.etaworld.org/cat/index.htm
    This is excellent resources and I've used them in teaching SS teachers.
     
  6. journeyheaven

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    Ouchie! Did I mention my husband and I are the youth directors? :D


    Jesus Never Fails,
    Mary
     
  7. Christian41974

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    Well, Sunday school teaching is not a calling so a person out of the church who knows their Bible. They don't have to know everything but they should have good knowledge of the Bible and its doctrine. Somebody who is faithful and lives right in and out of church. Someone who stands behind their pastor.
     
  8. Ken Rhoades

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    Teaching is a calling from God, and must be held by those who are called. A teacher must be Christian and a active member of the local congregation. No teacher should get in front of a Sunday School class and not have a working understanding of the by-laws and structure of the local Church. I think that a deacon/pastor review would be best. But I have found that in the local Baptist Church's the deacons don’t even know what the local church stand is (small and sad fact I have found in my search for a local church). I think that the men and women that serve to teach in Sunday school are the key to a vital body of believers. They must be given good tools to work with and must be well equipped to use the tools given. The Sunday School sets the tempo of the Worship service, opens the heart and stretches the soul. I get so sad when people who are not called to teach take a class out of guilt - the result would make it better if the class were left to play on the Highway in blindfolds. I know that at some ages it is more of a baby sitting service, and the baby sitters should be a volunteer group under a qualified sunday school teacher that would see to the volunteers needs as they baby sit the children. The place of the Sunday School superintendent is as important as the Pastor and in small church's should be the Pastor or Deacon. My heart breaks as I see church after church give up on the Sunday School turning to the ‘small group’ paradigm. It is as bad as pew setters that think they never need to share Christ with others or pass out a gospel track on the street. If you can not get a sunday school program stared in your Church that is qualified, I would think real hard about selling your church and getting a McDonalds franchise.

    Ken &gt;&lt;KJV&gt;
     
  9. Ernie Brazee

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    I would think real hard about selling your church and getting a McDonalds franchise.


    Excellent post Ken.

    The pastor is also responsible to have a TRAINEDSunday School staff.

    Our church schedules all day Saturday training sessions for the Sunday School and children's church workers about once a year.

    Also SS and CC workers are spiritually mature Christians, ideally SS teachers start as assitants then mature into teachers.

    There are also standards for teachers, only those who will agrre to the standards teach. If there are certain standards for public school teachers, there should be standards for those who are responsible for the spiritual growth of those they teach.

    As for selling the church and getting a McDonalds franchise....if a man can't responsiblly lead a church he would probly make a good burger flipper, but not manager enough to succeed.
     
  10. baptistteacher

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    This is something about which I am very passionate. I do not subscribe to the "any warm body will do" theory!!

    As Bro. Ernie said, the Pastor is responsible to have trained teachers. Unfortunately, many do not really know how to accomplish that training. :( If they do, thay are often so overwhelmed with other duties that they don't have time to properly deal with it. Some are blessed enough to have someone in the church who is able to take on this task for them.

    This is an area which should be addressed in our Bible colleges and seminaries. Has anyone ever seen such a course in one?
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    the minisry team should confirm all selections for teacher that the sunday school director makes. they should be trained to teach and should be reviewed on a regular basis. the biggest problem is many called people are not trained and ministered to by others. the sunday school teams or departments need regular meetings and training to remain focused. they also need to lifted up and recognized as the dedicated and called teachers spend many hours preparing.
     
  12. rufus

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    As pastor, I try to lead the church to provide teacher training seminars as well as personal spiritual growth materials. I stay available to the teachers in the church so that they can sound off me any questions or ideas they have. We do hold teachers accountable for being on time and in their classes regularly.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  13. Jonathan

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    My current church had a very interesting, and helpful interview process in place when I became a Sunday school teacher here.

    1. I was asked to submit a tape of my teaching a Sunday school lesson.
    2. After listening to the tape, I was called in for an interview with the senior pastor and the minister of ed. I gave my testimony, was asked some probing questions designed to understand my experiences and background. We discussed some particular doctrinal areas that our church had traditionally held and asked me some hypothetical questions about how I would address an in class controvery about these issue.
    3. We discussed the church's literature policy and discussed the annual training calendar.

    The minister of ed would frequently sit in on classes to observe style, content, and class interaction and the would make helpful suggestions, to me alone, afterwards.

    In my experiences, in all of the churches that have held my membership, this was the first and only time where training and accountability were expected and implimented. It is obviously a headache and a lot a work for the pastoral staff but I would think that it would be very rewarding for the church in the long term.
     

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