It is a new year, and many are considering New Year's resolutions, hoping to make lasting changes this year. Others are doing their best to avoid the subject, having already concluded that any commitments would be short-lived. We will leave the question whether it is most effective to make a series of resolutions at the beginning of the year to others to answer, but we would suggest that it is important to regularly evaluate where one is in life and where God wants us to be.
With that in mind, consider some areas in which you might seek improvement this new year...
- Preparing for lessons
Regardless of how long you have taught, there is always more to learn or practice in teaching. If not careful, we can become "set in our ways" presenting our lessons in a familiar (and boring?) manner. Or due to busyness and stress, we can do the minimum to get ready, relying on quick wits and charisma instead of careful study and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
- Discipling your students
Resolutions in this regard are important simply because this aspect of teaching Sunday school is so often overlooked. An important part of your ministry is shepherding your students spiritually. Do you minister to your students throughout the week or only one hour on Sunday?
- Following up on guests
With the stress of leading a lesson and the busyness of the Sunday morning worship ritual, it may be tempting to think it is someone else's responsibility to follow up on guests in your class. Yet as the teacher you are the most visible person in your class. Do you make certain to let guests know their presence was welcome, to gain contact information, and to invite them back the next Sunday?
- Growing spiritually
A common temptation for preachers and teachers is to combine sermon/lesson preparation with one's personal devotions. Making this a practice, however, can lead to spiritual malnutrition. And, if you are not growing spiritually and maturing in your faith, how will you be able to lead your students to "higher ground"?
These are just a few areas in which you, as a Sunday school teacher, may want to make a "New Year's Resolution" ... or just a commitment to Christ that you will seek improvement. (David Woods)
What spiritual resolutions would God have you make for this new year?
"Study to show thyself approved unto God... " (2 Timothy 2:15).