How do you spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S?

Everyone wants to succeed. Some do…some don’t. Teachers may define success by the numbers of attendees, or by getting through the entire lesson, or by avoiding any glaring blunders. The definitions of success vary from teacher to teacher.

All of us spend some time in reflecting on how well we did or didn’t do. The unique thing about success is that it cannot always be judged by the immediate result. The path to success must travel on the road named “Process”.

Here’s a process of success that should be common to all Sabbath school teachers. Continue reading

Don’t let “campaign fever” kill your class

For the most part, it’s unavoidable. It’s topic A at the water cooler and the subject of endless emails. Pundits debate with passion the merits of their fancy and around the dinner table we hear the spirited defense of one’s political choice over another’s.

This has been labeled as one of the most interesting political seasons leading up to a presidential election that our country has ever had. It cannot be denied that history has been and will be made throughout the course of this election.

There is at least one place however where one’s passion for or against a political candidate should not appear; Continue reading

Are you a part of the solution or part of the problem?

Everyone has problems. It’s just a fact of life. Problems come in all sizes and shapes and affect all ages and races. Some problems are viewed as insurmountable and some problems may be viewed as simple annoyances. What they all have in common is that they present a challenge to those they involve.

Realizing this fact, as teachers we must ask ourselves, “Am I offering solutions to real problems?” We know the Word of God has answers to all of life’s problems. Are we conscious of the opportunity we have to make a difference in the lives of those who attend our sessions?

Some of the more common problems many of our class members face today involve: Continue reading

When Simplicity is Eloquence

“Never man spake like this Man” John 7:46

The greatest Teacher the world has ever known, was the most definite, simple, and practical in His instruction. GW 50

There is no higher example for a teacher to follow than the example given by the greatest teacher of all time, Jesus Christ. His method of communication can never be improved on and has lasted undiminished through the ages.
“The common people heard Him gladly.”
Mark 12:37

While we are many times mesmerized by the eloquence of the worlds great orators, our mission as teachers is to communicate eternal truths in a manner that is best suited for its reception; SIMPLICITY. Continue reading

In Search of Teaching Excellence

Ex”cel*lence\, n
The quality of being excellent; state of possessing good qualities in an eminent degree;
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary

I remember a sports shoe commercial many years ago that featured Michael Jordan and Spike Lee. In the commercial Spike Lee was trying to determine what made Michael Jordan so good at the game of basketball. The key phrase used throughout the spot was “Is it the shoes?” While Michael simply answered “no” to the questions, the implication was that it was more than the shoes. Through closer investigation we learned that Michael Jordan worked tirelessly at his craft and that success was not instantaneous, but rather a process that he was dedicated to.

Similarly, when we see Sabbath School teachers that excel, we are tempted to ask in our own way, “is it the shoes?” Just what makes a person a teacher of excellence? Is it genetic? Is it the setting? Is it the topic? Or is it fate? Like Michael Jordan, teachers that excel share some of the same attributes. Continue reading

Is your Sabbath School Alive or D.O.A.

It seems today that Sabbath schools are falling into 2 categories; either vibrantly alive or dry and dead. Some Sabbath school classes are eagerly looked forward to and some are simply tolerated as something we do but not necessarily enjoy. The people who fall into the latter group have increased over the years. Far too many regular church members (especially without very young children) are skipping this portion of our services.

To reverse this trend is an undertaking that many churches are tackling. The difference between the two extremes of the Sabbath School experience is determined by the leadership of the individual church and most importantly the leadership of the Sabbath School department.

The role and service of Sabbath School is still relevant and needed. The opportunity that Sabbath School department leaders have in assisting the church in the building up of disciples is enormous. We must recommit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to become effective to the audience we serve.

What are you observing at your church? Do you know of a church’s Sabbath School department that has found ways to keep the weekly program fresh and relevant?