“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”Matthew 28:19
Robert Fulghum learned his life lessons in kindergarten. I learned mine in Sunday School:
- If you forget your Bible, act like you already memorized the Scripture passage for the lesson.
- If everyone is sharing their favorite Bible verse, at some point interrupt someone and say, “Rats. She said my verse.”
- Eat as many donuts as you please. Sunday School donuts don’t have calories.
- If you accidentally fall asleep, when you awake and raise your head, say a loud “Amen.”
- If your teacher gets long-winded, start shaking and tapping your watch as if it stopped.
If you think I am exaggerating, think again. However, there are even more valuable lessons I learned through my years in Sunday School. They are from the many wonderful layperson Sunday School teachers I had at First Baptist Dallas. Through faithful teachers, I learned:
Training: How to live a life pleasing to God
Example: How to demonstrate God’s love to others
Apologetics: How to defend Bible doctrines to critics and inquirers
Creativity: How to imaginatively teach Bible truths to others
Hermeneutics: How to interpret and understand the Bible
Evangelism: How to share the gospel with a non-Christian
Relevance: How to apply Bible doctrines
Sanctification: How to grow in Christlikeness
Jesus’ marching orders for us in the Great Commission are: “As you are going, make disciples…” (Matt. 28:19a). That important process starts with evangelism and continues with discipleship. At First Dallas, we accomplish both God-given tasks in Sunday School, and our best witnesses and disciplers are laypeople. Through the years, God has used laypeople of all kinds to disciple me in Sunday School: homemakers, salespeople, lawyers, retail workers, coaches, businesspersons, bankers, IT personnel, and many others.
How about you? Is God calling you to be a Sunday School teacher? We always need more teachers in this ever-growing ministry. You do not have to be an expert or scholar. You just need to be a willing layperson who is ready for God to use you to make a significant impact in the lives of your Sunday School class.
However, if God is not calling you to be a teacher, there is still much you can do. Pray for your teacher, study your weekly lesson, participate in the class, and volunteer to do class ministry.