The Learning Profile: A Lesson in Teaching Sunday School to Your Family

In light of recent events, many have found themselves searching for normalcy amidst the uncertainty of the day. At Old Fort Baptist Church, our Sunday School curriculum, The Gospel Project, is a great place to turn.

by Charles McCallum on March 31, 2020

Many of you reading this today may have found yourself recently recruited to be Sunday School teachers. Congratulations and welcome to the team! I’m so happy to have you join us in the effort to grow in our knowledge of Scripture, that we might know Him more and be transformed into His likeness.

Since you may be new to teaching, I wanted to give you a little advice on how to prepare yourself for teaching the lesson. There are four elements of the learning profile: (1) the learner; (2) the environment; (3) the curriculum; and (4) the teacher.

Today we will look at each of these elements in an effort to assist you in your new role as a Sunday School teacher.

The Learner: It is imperative that you consider who you are teaching as you prepare your lesson. Though the Scripture will not change, each person you are teaching is unique. Consider your audience as you begin to construct the lesson. If you have children at home, how do you plan to keep their attention? Each lesson needs to provide a reason for them to buy in to what you are going to say. Study your audience, the learners, and make sure you are intentional to be a student of your students! If they aren’t learning, then you are not teaching…you are merely talking.

The Environment: The environment where learning takes place has certainly been impacted by our recent shift to home study. Rather than heading to the church to attend Sunday School in your usual class, you have now found yourself studying the lesson in your own home. If done well, this can be a huge positive for you! Your surroundings will be familiar and comfortable. Use that to your advantage. But keep in mind that can also be a deterrent. If you have a location that you are used to lounging that has lots of distractions, consider finding another place in your home that will help you and your family focus on the lesson.

The Curriculum: Fortunately for you, this element of the learning profile has not changed. At Old Fort Baptist Church we are committed to working through the Bible with The Gospel Project. This is the curriculum our entire church has been using for the last year and a half so as you begin to prepare your lesson, you will be building on lessons you have worked through for the last year and a half. And good news, your children have been learning those lessons as well! Take comfort in knowing that despite all of the change that has been going on lately, this will be a comfortable and constant familiar for your family.

The Teacher: You as the leader will play a factor in the learning process. Carry the weight of that pressure, but also remember that there is One in you that is more powerful and can do a great work in you. Stepping into this role for your family will be extremely valuable. Now is the time to get started on a family tradition that can last much longer than this temporary quarantine. Begin leading family devotion time each week. Consider playing a worship song on YouTube, praying for your time together, looking at The Gospel Project lesson, then closing with prayer. Use this time to see how your family is handling the unprecedented change that is happening in their life. Show them you care about them and want to help them through this time.

In Donald Whitney’s book Family Worship, he addressed the two main concerns as to why a husband and father does not lead his family in a time of devotion. The two reasons: (1) “I don’t know how to start”; and (2) "we’ve never done it before and it just feels awkward starting now.” If you’ve ever felt that way, then boy do I have news for you!! You can start by using The Gospel Project lesson with your family and what better time to start a new habit than while you are looking for ways to fill the days during quarantine!

If you are anxious about this new endeavor, don’t worry. God is with you. He desires for us to study His Word and know Him more. Let the curriculum guide you. There was a team of trained writers that have put in the time and effort to prepare the lesson for you. Though their focus was to develop a generalized lesson that can be faithful to the text while also reaching a large broad audience, you have the privilege of working through the lesson with your own family.

If you’re afraid your children aren’t interested in participating, remember two things: (1) when the quarantine has long since passed and your children enter adulthood, though they may not remember each lesson, they will certainly remember you making Bible study a priority; and (2) you know your children best, so be intentional to find ways to make the lesson interesting for them. Old Fort is currently offering the kids version of the Sunday School lesson. Check out our website for fun ideas and ways to make the lesson come alive to your children at their age appropriate level!

I am encouraged that you are even considering stepping into this responsibility for your family, and trust me…they are too. Say a prayer, take that first step, read the lesson over and get familiar with it, then call your family together for a time of study. You will be taking part in a time honored tradition of participating in helping teach Gospel truth to others. I think you’ll be surprised at how much you get out of preparing to lead others too. Know that I appreciate you, your efforts, and your desire to be faithful to God’s calling. You’ve got this!

Tags: family worship, devotion, teaching, learning, sunday school

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