How Do I teach It all?
by Allen Pointer
If you could have one question answered to make this day profitable, what would it be?
Every one of us has benefited from a church volunteer who helped us grow in our faith and understanding of Christ. From nursery to senior saints, each Sunday these important volunteers lead classes, teach lessons, and love their students.
Training for these front-line volunteers should be a priority. Because I have been around long enough to become a youth pastor patriarch, I get asked to do teacher and youth worker training from time to time. Recently, I started a training session with the question above, and I heard the following question:
How do I fit everything in to my junior high girl's class on Sunday morning? I need to be involved in their lives, but I have important lessons to teach as well. How do I make it all fit?
What a great question! And it has such a great answer! You don't!
It is not one of the 10 Commandments that you have to finish the lesson each week. I am not sure that it is even in the Apocrypha. Some people think the success of each week’s lesson is determined by how much of the lesson gets covered week in and week out. But that is not the best gauge of a good Sunday School Lesson.
Our youth group uses D6 Curriculum from Randall House. It is tailor made for what we want to accomplish on any given Sunday. Most Sundays, the lesson is given by what we call our master teacher. This just means that instead of having six teachers for our department, we have one who gives all six groups the same lesson.
The Connect and the Learn sections of the CLEAR Learning System allow the master teacher—in our case Cameron Lane—to present the body of the lesson. We then split into six graded gender groups to finish the lesson, or the Explore, Apply, and Respond sections of CLEAR. The small groups allow for more personal interaction. Other adults lead each of these groups. We had been using this model before CLEAR became available, but it has been enhanced by using the curriculum.
But even we pick and choose what we use! Some weeks we add, subtract, and expand the lesson. The important thing is that the scope and sequence of D6 Curriculum provides a solid biblical foundation for teaching all of God's truth. It is just that we don't try to do it all at once!
For teachers who are by themselves in some isolated classroom, worried about doing it right, relax! Each week study the lesson. Each week pray about what God wants to say to your students. Then if you only cover one or two of the sections, but you have opportunity to speak into your students' lives, your lesson has been successful!
After all, most of us can't recall any specific lesson (or very few) from our junior high years. But we all remember the teachers who poured their lives into ours. And that is what matters most.
About the Writer: Allen Pointer is student pastor at First FWB Church in Russellville, AR. Learn more about D6 Curriculum at www.randallhouse.com or www.d6family.com.