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Practical Encouragement for Sunday School Teachers

Kathleen Kohler

"I'd like all of our Sunday school teachers to come forward so we can pray for you," said Pastor Bruce. I watched as many from our congregation gathered at the front of the church. When he finished praying, our pastor said, "Please remember to pray for these people who are devoting their time to teach our children."

Working with children is not my area of giftedness so I knew these people needed extra prayer, but I knew I couldn't remember everyone's name. With a burst of inspiration, I decided to choose one person and pray for her regularly throughout the year.

I chose Barb, a woman I only knew by saying a casual hello to on Sunday mornings.

Many Sunday school teachers serve in this ministry because they love kids. They want to instill God's word on impressionable young hearts hoping to root them eternally in God's Word. But these volunteers have jobs and lives outside of the church. They have hard days at work, health issues, and family struggles, just like the rest of us. They get tired, discouraged, and sometimes feel disconnected from the congregation.

Here are 4 simple steps we can take to help:

1. Prayerfully choose a teacher.

2. Commit to pray for him or her at least two times a week. For example:

   -- On Tuesdays, I prayed for inspiration and encouragement for Barb as she prepared her lessons. On Saturdays, I prayed again.

   -- Remember to pray for the children to have receptive hearts.

3. Send cards and notes of encouragement to the teacher.

   -- It's not just enough to pray, that person needs tangible evidence that someone is thinking of them and cheering them on.

4. Do small acts of kindness.

   -- In January I sent Barb, Max Lucado's devotional, Grace for the Moment. Not only was Barb uplifted by reading the devotions, she had a visible reminder that I was praying for her.

   -- Remember, when you commit to pray for someone, watch with anticipation to see what God will do through your obedience and faithfulness.

© 2007 Kathleen Kohler