How to Have a Great Sunday School – Wes & Sheryl Haystead

How to Have a Great Sunday School

Chapter Two

            The reason that I am going to come back to chapter two is the list of benefits, the list of purposes, and the importance of a Sunday School mission statement.  I really appreciated the list of benefits which are really important reasons that can be used to teach and encourage people to begin to faithfully attend a Sunday School class.  The list of purposes was also profitable and helped to clarify what a Sunday School class is designed to do, which helps to keep it on track.  The importance of a mission statement specifically for each Sunday School age group is something that I had not quite thought of before this, but now completely agree with the necessity of it.  It is very true that oftentimes people that teach a children’s Sunday School class will struggle to know how to apply the overall mission statement of the church to their specific ministry.  So in summary this chapter is a great starting point for the understanding of what Sunday School provides, what it is, and how to keep it headed in the right direction.

 

Chapter Three

            This chapter was extremely helpful in its overview of teaching to change lives.  I will come back to this chapter again and again to look over the six goals that are shared within it.  The one thing that I found so helpful about the content was that the goals are a guide to help a teacher to teach to what Richards calls the, “whole person.”  The section on finding appropriate curriculum was a good reminder of questions to ask when searching for curriculum for each group.  Also I really profited from another presentation of the learning process.  I really am glad to be exposed to this reality over and over, because it reminds me that I am not done when I have dispensed information, it does not mean that I have taught.  The teacher evaluation sheets will be a great resource for me to become a better teacher and to also help others to do the same.  This chapter I will revisit again, I am sure.

 

Chapter Four

              This chapter began with the lesson aims, and this is something that is useful to me.  It is helpful to be able to learn about and ponder teaching to affect these three areas of learning.  The one that is usually addressed in my experience is the cognitive area.  This made the material in this chapter interesting to read.  What made it more profitable was the evaluation time after a lesson is over, to ask yourself how well you addressed these three learning areas.  The section dealing with how to break up time and how you use it for different teaching activities was very helpful for me.  The varying of activities is something to help me be more creative.  Also, the section on activities with purpose was something that helped to get my mind working on how to teach biblical truths in creative ways.  The reminder in this chapter about the importance of student-teacher interaction was very relevant and useful.  The learning activities suggested and the actual breakdown of class time for each age group is extremely useful.  The practicality of this book is well worth the price.  Again, this chapter will be revisited. 

Chapter Five

              This chapter on successful Sunday School organization is very useful.  There is so much practical, and easy to understand information provided in this chapter on how to help keep your people in leadership from becoming overwhelmed to how to effectively minister to each age group.  This is a great chapter that even deals with how to minister to handicapped people, teaching bilingually, which are things that I have not given a lot of thought to.  There is so much information in this chapter alone that deals with the minute points of ministry it is astounding.  The model forms for safety policies in the church is something that is very useful to have and to adapt for my own church, and to make existing ones better.  The forms in this chapter are great to have, to get you thinking about things that you might otherwise overlook.  The reminders of not allowing classes to become too large is also full of good teaching.  The teacher-to-student ratios are also useful to look at and compare to what you are using in your own church. 

 

Chapter Six

            This chapter is excellent.  The truth stated within this chapter about the importance of clear job descriptions is in no way understated.  The model job descriptions also provide you with a great starting point to developing your own for your church.  The section on building a feeling of teamwork is very good.  The practical suggestions for how to encourage teamwork is exactly what you need, when you might not know where to start.  The authors provide great suggestions, but the extra insights from other church leaders helps to further extend your thinking.  The best part about this book and this chapter is that the authors provide job descriptions and suggestions for each age group. 

 

Chapter Seven

            The information in this chapter on how to publicize your Sunday School program is extremely helpful.  It provides you with not only teaching from the authors but also the real life examples from the local church leaders and how they helped to recruit new leaders within their congregations.  There is great insight provided with the teaching in this chapter that states that recruiting should never stop, and that it should be something that all people within the Sunday School program can be praying about.  The reminder of finding the right person for the right job is a very healthy reminder.  This is something that does not happen very often in my experience, usually the first person that cannot outrun the recruiter and is afraid to say no, becomes the new teacher.  The sample volunteer survey is also something that is good to be able to adapt and use in my own church.  I appreciated the process that is described in recruiting volunteers and how to actually walk through the process with a recruit and even how to respond to what their answer is.  This is a great chapter.

 

Chapter Eight

            I really did benefit from this chapter on training and planning.  This chapter gives incredibly useful instruction and insight in how to have a successful, high impact ongoing training ministry in your church.  It is very practical, very easy to understand.  This is a chapter

that I devoured when reading it, and I am sure that I will return to it again, to better hone my skills in training others.  The sample training calendar was great, and really got me thinking.  The case for planning is also well presented, and really shows the need for strategic planning to


be done among those leading the Sunday School classes and ministries.  It shows how these type of planning meetings get leaders involved together and strengthen teams. 

 

Chapter Nine

            This chapter is appropriate and relevant for almost any church that I have ever encountered.  The practical information that is shared about the importance of a room being pleasant to be in, not being too small, and being appropriate for those that are meeting in it is so helpful.  The tips on how to make better use of space, tips on how to re-model, tips on how to make use of the outdoors, tips for multiple service, and how to build new ministry space are all excellent.  The diagrams on how to set up a ministry space are also so helpful.  The chart providing a list of all the age groups and the necessity of different resources is also greatly appreciated, because it helps you to have a starting point of knowing what different groups need and don’t need.  It is something that I am sure is not given enough thought in my situation, how the teaching environments are hindering effectiveness.  Great chapter.

 

Chapter Ten

            This chapter was just awesome in the information that it provides.  The reality of the need for a deliberate outreach plan in the Sunday School is very well presented in this chapter.  The affirmation that accurate attendance, a list of potential participants, outreach events, and people to take ownership of heading up the evangelistic outreach are all needed is just fantastic.  The outreach ideas provided are good.  The great teaching I found that I am sure I will use and reproduce is the information on how to treat visitors so that they will come back faithfully and come to know Christ.  The tips on how to follow up with visitors of all ages are fantastic.  This is a valuable chapter.  The information is well needed in a lot of places. 

 

Chapter Eleven

            This final chapter was also very profitable.  The information contained that encourages the Sunday School to affirm and help to strengthen families is very good.  The case is well presented, and the practical ideas to help to get families together at certain times of the year are also well presented.  The practical instruction on how to actually teach your children at home is so valuable.  This information presented in this chapter is something that I would like to use and adapt to help parents in my church to become models and teachers of the same Christian values that their kids will be receiving in Sunday School, church, and Christian school.  This chapter is such a great end to a very, very useful book.  I will use this for years to come.

           

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