Bethel Lutheran Church's Mission is to declare the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, calling them into faith while sharing and strengthening the faith of our members and fellow believers.
We see our Sunday School teachers fulfilling this mission in seven primary ways:
- Unconditional love and forgiveness based on the Gospel of Christ.
- Understanding and acceptance.
- We should provide a reason to be here.
- Challenge and growth (not entertainment).
- Modeling of the faith.
- Fellowship and interpersonal growth.
- A firm but fair environment.
Some students come from homes where love does not reflect Christ's example. Each child needs to know--by actions and in words--how much God loves him or her. It may be a challenge to love some of the children all of the time. It is only through the extraordinary love of God in Christ that this love is made possible. When each child knows the unconditional love of God, demonstrated through the forgiveness of Christ, the Bible lessons become stories of God's love rather than of man's adventures.
Everyone wants to be understood. Every child can be taught that God knows and understands all things. Furthermore, children should know that God accepts all people through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even though He cannot accept the nature of sin and its actions. By demonstrating care and concern the teacher seeks to understand and accept, but we can do so in the context of forgiveness and faith. It is also important for the teacher to protect the uniqueness of each child, squelching put-downs and teasing from others.
Each student may have a different reason to be in Sunday School. Some attend only because their parents take them or make them attend. Others attend because they have friends in Sunday School. Some attend because they enjoy learning the exciting stories about God and His people. When teaching God's Word and sharing the Christian faith is our priority, the students' reason for coming to Sunday School remains faith-rooted. It starts when teachers ask the question, "If a child only had this opportunity to learn about God, what is most important for them to learn from this lesson?" Sharing the Gospel of Christ is the reason for Sunday School and Christian educational ministry. Students need that message, and our Sunday School is dedicated to sharing it.
Fun and games, entertainment, videos and treats may be part of a healthy class, but never the main element. When these things become the central focus, the class will fail to really make a difference in kids' lives. God's Word needs is kept at the heart and center of the educational hour. As students grow older, they should be challenged in different ways so that the lessons match their age-appropriate needs.
Most students remember their teachers better than the curriculum, classroom layout, or specific facts. The relationship between students and their teachers is a critical component of effective discipleship. Teachers who demonstrate the love of Christ become a model of Christ for their students. While no teacher can perfectly walk in Christ's footsteps, students benefit when teachers demonstrate commitment, a positive and joyful attitude, and a living faith by their words and actions inside and outside the classroom. Students who watch and observe this faith in action naturally evaluate whether or not faith is important in life.
We encourage our students to invite friends and create lifelong friendships early. Sunday School is an excellent place to learn the value of friendships, how to handle disagreements and learning more about themselves. Sunday School should not merely be a classroom and a lesson, but an opportunity to make lasting relationships.
Unconditional love and forgiveness, understanding and acceptance--these are environmental conditions that help set the mood for health learning. However, one of the greatest challenges for teachers is classroom discipline. Students learn more in, and also enjoy, a firm environment. "Firm" does not suggest harsh but rather even handed discipline. Our Sunday School strives to provide each student an equal opportunity to learn about God's Love, free of worry about being ``discounted''. God has given each of us an inherent value by paying for our lives with His innocent blood. We place great value in that and do not allow our students to discount any other student in any other way.
They need the love of Christ, who died so that they might live. And may we know that God works in us to make it happen--to His glory!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our program, please contact Randy Moebe, DCE at 979-822-2742 or by email at DCERandy@Bethel-Lutheran-Church.org.
|Bethel Lutheran Church's Mission is declaring the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, calling them into faith, while sharing and strengthening the faith of our members and fellow believers.|