Looking for a recipe to make your Sunday School kids well-behaved and “doers of the word” in your class? Try the effective trio of love, action songs and organized lesson plan. This is what we learned last November 5 in our Teachers’ Seminar at EFC-Tagum. More than 40 Sunday School teachers and pastors from various outstation churches participated as we desire to be more effective leaders in the children’s ministry.
During the seminar, teachers Mayme Olegario and Cecille Gacasan from EFC-Davao imparted to us their knowledge and experiences. Teacher Mayme first taught us how to design age-appropriate lesson plans that would enable teachers to target at least two learning levels in just one class session. We learned about Benjamin Bloom’s six levels of learning, namely, knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. If students’ learning is in the knowledge level, they would be able to name or recall information they had heard in a Bible story. But knowledge level doesn’t guarantee that students have really understood the practical meaning of the Biblical truth they have heard in the story. As teachers therefore, we need to strive to impart more than knowledge only. In this seminar, we learned to design our lessons in a way that students would be able to practice the significance of the Scriptures in their young lives’ day-to-day experiences. Now that we learn how to plan our lessons better, we believe that with God’s grace, we would be able to train young believers who are truly “doers of the word and not hearers only”.
Secondly, we also learned how to write objectives in our lesson plan. An objective simply means what we want students to accomplish at the end of the Sunday School class. Teacher Mayme encouraged us to really write down our objectives because these would be our guide or focus in every class activity we do with the kids. For example, we must not let kids color pictures just to kill time or because we’re not prepared for our class. Setting objectives means that when we tell stories, sing and dance, make crafts or basically anything, we have a clear purpose why we engage our Sunday school kids in those activities.
Then, teacher Mayme grouped us for our lesson plan workshop. Every member of the group had contributed their utmost ideas. That activity was very enjoyable and interesting because it enabled us to look for simple but innovative solutions and activities for the children to enhance their relationship with God. Different groups had presented their output, and we are thankful that we have acquired different useful ideas from each other.
For her part, Teacher Cecille taught us different songs, with corresponding actions. Wow! That was really amazing. Every singing and dancing part was our favorite! You could really see that not only young teachers were able to dance, but also the elderly. They were dancing like they were back to their childhood times. That was really enjoyable for all of us who attended. We had learned many beautiful songs for our children. Through these new songs, we hope that our kids will be more participative, instead of misbehaving or doing something inappropriate during praise and worship.
Lastly, love is the most important ingredient in our Sunday school classes. Without this, then the Sunday School ministry can be very depressing for teachers. Just imagine dealing with a group of adorable Sunday School kids, who at any moment, can turn out to be naughty, noisy, wriggly, sweaty, nasty and uncooperative. We must ask Jesus, who utterly loves children, to transform us to be like Him.
We are very thankful for that seminar because we were reminded of our part in guiding the children to God’s ways and God’s love. Even though they are just children, they should not be underestimated because someday, they will be the ones who will rise and stand for God’s kingdom, and they are the generation that would follow our footsteps and finish the great commission.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
We give our heartfelt gratitude to Pas. Peter Wee and Pas. Christine for the financial support they gave for the seminar. We also want to thank teachers Mayme and Cecille for imparting their knowledge to us for God’s glory. All glory belongs to God! Amen.