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Sunday School and the New Year

Posted: 1/6/20 at 4:20pm. Post by Tony Brooks.

“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” (Proverbs 29:18, The Message)

As we begin the New Year, what is God doing in your Sunday School? What vision have you received? Though I know some have begun planning based on a fall schedule, most adults consider January 1 to be a time to set New Year’s resolutions. Why not take advantage of it? Here are some thoughts for every leader of Sunday School:

Sunday School Directors: Sunday School improvement is hard work. For us to be the best at being vessels for transformation requires vision, planning, and training. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Are you planning for new Bible study classes? For every new successful class, you add 10 new members to your Sunday School. Set up a new class based on affinity, need, and time. It doesn’t have to be Sunday morning or in the church!
  2. Have you planned for teacher appreciation? Teachers need to know that you appreciate their time and energy. Set a date for teacher appreciation at least twice a year. Have a dinner in their honor. Have a gift bag with snacks for them.
  3. Have you set up training opportunities? If your adults use the same curriculum, why not set up a forum online for them to share ideas?

Adult Teachers: Take advantage of the New Year to bring challenges to your classes.

  1. Ask the class if they have set New Year’s resolutions. Did they consider their relationship with God?
  2. If they are parents, ask them, “Have you considered what goals you have set for your children for this year?” Parents need to recognize that their job is to provide roots and wings for their children—roots for them to have the spiritual foundation to become productive adults and wings for them to be ready to leave the nest and find their own way.

Youth Teachers: The New Year provides an opportunity for youth to examine their goals for the future as they grow in Christ. This is my favorite group, because transformation is seen from sixth to twelfth grade. What goals have they set? How can you help them reach their goals? Partner with the parents to make it happen. You can challenge them to read the Bible within a year, but give them a plan, or memorize scriptures.  

Children’s and Preschool Teachers: It is important to partner with the parents at this point. Jim Collins at Catalyst a few years back shared a unique perspective. He mentioned two symbols:

Place a suitcase next to the crib. It is a reminder that we are to be preparing our children/toddlers for the day they will leave home as productive Christian adults.

Place a large jar of marbles with a marble for every week for 18 years. Every week, at the same time, you take a marble out to see how long you have to impact your child to prepare for adulthood before they leave home for college or work.

Special Needs Students’ Teachers: Ask parents what you and the church can do to assist them this year in nurturing their child as a child of God.

I pray 2020 will be a year of vision, planning, and preparation to help each of your students go deeper in their faith!      

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is BGAV’s Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7