How to encourage your kids’ Sunday school teachers

On Sunday mornings, I come to church wearing two hats: parent and Sunday school teacher. Drawing on my experiences from both roles, I thought I’d put together a few thoughts about how parents can encourage our children’s secondary ‘disciplers’ (in this case, their Sunday school teachers) to keep doing the job with perseverance, diligence and joy. It’s a somewhat random list based mainly on my own frustrations and joys over the years. I’d love to hear your additions to the list.

  1. Turn up. Turn up each week. Resist the temptation to think about Sunday school as a child-minding service that someone provides for the weeks when we happen to find it convenient to drop into church. Think of it instead as a regular weekly commitment for the teaching and discipling of our kids. If we Christian parents were as committed to church and Sunday school as we are to swimming lessons, sporting teams and so on, I suspect there would be a fair bit less fluctuation in the numbers at Sunday school week by week!
  2. Reinforce the lessons at home. Ask your children what they’ve learned, help them learn the memory verse, sing the songs, display the craft, etc.
  3. Teach your kids the Bible yourself, and teach them how to make connections between the message of the Bible and their daily lives as kids. The tiny opportunities that their Sunday school teacher has to teach the application of God’s word week by week are greatly amplified if the kids come along already knowing that the Bible is a book to be learned and believed, remembered and lived out.
  4. Get to know the Sunday school teachers and treat them as an important part of your kids’ lives. Give them opportunities to meet your kids’ non-Christian friends and their families too, so that they can experience a sense of partnership in mission with your family, and so that your kids’ friends and their families will have one more familiar face when you invite them along to church and Sunday school.
  5. Pick up your kids on time at the end of the lesson.
  6. Get your kids to bed on time on Saturday nights.
  7. Take your kids to the toilet before you drop them off. smile

What would you add?

12 thoughts on “How to encourage your kids’ Sunday school teachers

  1. Great post, thanks Nicole.

    I would add a little to point 3: Remember that the role of a sunday school teacher is merely to add to and compliment the Biblical instruction you (the parents) are giving your child. The main responsiblility for learning about God/bible/Jesus should fall on the parents. The sunday school teachers are in partnership with you to teach your children, but this teaching should never replace the God-given responsibility the parents have of raising their children in the knowledge of the Lord.

  2. As a Sunday School teacher as well I can agree with all of the points!

    It’s kind of been said, but be interested in what your children did at Sunday School each week – I teach a preschool class so not all the children are able to communicate what they did in class and I really appreciate it when parents come to find out what we learnt about so they can reinforce it at home.

    Also – it’s a small thing but when parents just leave the craft we did lying around the hall and don’t take it with them I find that really disheartening. I work hard all week to think up and prepare a craft that reinforces the lesson and is fun for the kids; and seeing it just left behind is a bit sad. If you don’t want it please take it home before you throw it out smile.

  3. A great post.  As a minister I think there is opportunity for leadership.  I regularly tell my congregation that the parents are all the ones fundamentally responsible for the well-being, morale and encouragement of our Sunday (or in our case, Saturday) School teachers.

  4. I would add:

    *Ask the teachers if your children are behaving appropriatly and make it obvious that you welcome feedback in this area.

    *Invite the SS teachers to social gatherings after church/at your home etc.

    *Pray for the teachers.

    *Give them a card at the end of the year with words of thanks and appreciation.

    *Talk to the teachers after the lesson and ask them about their week.

    *Ensure you are on the holiday program roster so that the kids are still taught the bible when the SS teachers are having a break.

  5. Sorry Nicole, I forgot to say thanks for the great post.  Really appreciated and a great encouragement to look after our teachers.

  6. Thanks everyone for the extra points.

    Luke, I’m in whole-hearted agreement with you about the parents having ultimate responsibility for discipleship!

    And Andrew, you have a good point about the minister leading his congregation in this area.

  7. Hi Nicole,

    As a youth group leader, I think that the message about turning up every week is even more important as kids get older. Too often youth group seems to be less important than sporting fixures & study.

  8. Pray for the teachers and the kids, and if you are in a position of authority, make the recruitment, training and encouragement of teachers a priority, and make sure you know what they are teaching.  If the teachers turn over every term, you have a problem.

  9. I’ve been teaching Sunday School only this year and something I’ve really found helpful is encouragement from parents about what their child is remebering once they get home.

    Teaching only little ones for a short time (age 5 – 7), we dont always see the fruit of what the children are learning, so a quick word after church or email I’ve found really encouraging.

  10. Thank the teachers each week when you pick up kids and get the kids to also thank the teachers.

  11. I can’t stress how encouraging it is when parents work in partnership with the leaders — when they meet the leaders, ask them how their children are going and just get involved in the leader’s lives. Nothing is more disheartening about teaching Sunday School than when the parents don’t seem to care less about who is teaching their children about the living and true God. I am not a parent, but I am amazed how many parents fall in the latter category of appearing not to care, rather than the former. (Though a big thankyou to those that do care, and who show that they do.)

  12. Thank your kids’ teachers!

    As a Sunday school teacher, I can’t stress enough how encouraging, rare and surprising it is to be thanked for what is often an invisible job. smile

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Nic.

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