This is the second of three posts on "Great Expectations."
Expect People to Say, “Yes!” The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. Matthew 13:31
A Great Expectations Sunday School expects people to say yes! Yes to an invitation to attend Sunday School and yes to an invitation to enroll. As preschool and children’s Sunday School teachers we have some responsibilities in helping to create a “yes” environment for both the child and the family.
Ask yourself, "What do I do, both before a child enters the room and after they’ve arrived that helps to create a “yes” atmosphere and promotes a “yes” response from kids and their families." Obviously there are things we can do as a church to help create a “yes” atmosphere, but I want to focus on things we can do as Kids Sunday School teachers.
Recently at a conference where participants were asked to consider these questions the following ideas surfaced:
Before a Child Enters the Room I…
…prepare my heart to teach from an overflow of what God has already taught me.
…prepare in such a way that kids recognize the importance and value of participating in Bible study. (Nothing says, “This ain’t important,” like an unprepared teacher.)
… arrive early (before the first child) to insure the room is welcoming both physically and emotionally.
…keep the classroom free of clutter and unrelated “stuff” (as much as possible).
…prepare for boys and girls to begin learning as soon as they enter the room (no waiting until the ‘rest of our class’ gets here. Many visitors will arrive early).
After a Child Enters the Room I…
… welcome each child by name.
… introduce myself to guests at the door and collect important information.
…demonstrate our church’s commitment to protecting children by always having two adults in the room at all times
…set parents and kids at ease by ensuring that the child and parent will be reunited following the Bible study experience and find out the whereabouts of parents/guardians during Bible study.
… help assimilate guests into Bible study by making sure regular attenders are welcoming and inclusive.
…am sensitive to the fact that visiting kids may not have the Bible skills and knowledge that regular attenders have received.
…follow up after Bible study with the child and his family to answer questions and express genuine appreciation for the visit and invite them to come back!
…minister to kids and their families as appropriate (live the Bible content you teach).
This sn’t an exhaustive list… but it certainly is a place for us to begin. Begin thinking about what we do that helps kids and their families say, “Yes, I’d love to come (I’d love to bring my kids) to your Bible study class.”
Bottom Line: What are you doing as a Kids Sunday School teacher to create a “yes” environment?
I’d love to hear some of your ideas on what you do before and after a child enters your classroom to ensure their Bible study experience is positive!