How are Sunday School teachers chosen in your church?

Anyone who volunteers
0% (0 votes)
Church members who volunteer
0% (0 votes)
Church members in good standing who volunteer
56% (5 votes)
Church members who meet the same kind of criteria as elders/deacons
0% (0 votes)
Church members who meet the above criteria and are trained or proven to be gifted as teachers
0% (0 votes)
Church members who meet all of the above criteria and are proven to be skilled in the Word
11% (1 vote)
We have no established vetting process
11% (1 vote)
We have an established vetting process
22% (2 votes)
Total votes: 9
4769 reads

There are 11 Comments

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

If your church has criteria or a process by which SS teachers and YG leaders chosen that is not touched on or that you would like to explain, please do so. This is an "I'm curious" poll - because I've been in IFB churches all my life and only know of a couple of churches that have a process for choosing teachers and workers based on standards of personal conduct and skill in the Word

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I've been looking around the internet to find articles about the qualifications of SS teachers, and I found [URL=http://pastorandpeople.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/sunday-school-%E2%80%93-... a blog post- "Sunday School- A Sad State!"[/URL ] by Pastor Dustin Benge.

Quote:
A. Teacher Qualifications

(a) Individual must give evidence of salvation.

(b) Individual must be in Biblical good-standing with the church.

(c) Individual must maintain regular church attendance participating in monthly worship services as the church is assembled and be an active participant of the current Sunday school program.

(d) Individual must have a genuine calling and desire to teach and give outward evidence of the leading of the Holy Spirit.

(e) Individual must adhere to, agree with and be able to sign a copy of the church’s Statement of Faith saying that they will teach in the perimeters of the Biblical convictions of this church.

(f) Individual must give evidence of Biblical knowledge in a wide range of doctrines and teachings.

B. Duties of a Teacher

(a) Each teacher will be responsible for the overall organization, structure, and teaching of their class.

(b) They will lead the class in weekly in-depth Sunday morning Bible study.

(c) They will prepare as diligently as possible to teach Biblical sound doctrine being subject for their teaching to the Elders of the church.

Jim's picture

I don't know much about how SS teachers are chosen in the lower grades, but I do know that all teachers have the be faithful members of the church.

For the adults: our discipleship Pastor is the ABF (Adult Bible School) director. He meets with, vets, trains, and selects. Even substitutes must be approved by him.

Having been in an adult ABF class and now teaching one, the classes are thorough. We are on a 7 year plan to go through the entire Bible.

Ed Vasicek's picture

We choose to ask teachers from our attenders. They do not have to be members, but they must sign an accountability document and be screened for sexual abuse prevention.

Our elders work with the Sunday School Superintendent, either suggesting, confirming, or rejecting teachers.

We look for godly individuals who know the Lord, embrace sound doctrine, live a respectable life, and are faithful.

"The Midrash Detective"

Greg Long's picture

Here is the (unformatted version of the) Ministry Description a Children's Bible Fellowship (aka Sunday School) teacher must sign in our church:

Grandview Park Baptist Church
Ministry Description

Position: Children’s Bible Fellowship Teacher

Church Ministry: Children’s Bible Fellowship

Ministry Schedule: Sundays, 9:00-9:45am, year-round

Responsible to: Children’s Bible Fellowship Director

Pastoral Staff: Greg Long

Commitment: One year (renewable)

Ministry Description: Teach the Bible to children so that the Holy Spirit might make them “wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” and “thoroughly equip them for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

Servant Characteristics: Teaching Ability, Friendliness, Dependability, Patience

Ministry Qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Complete the Children & Student Ministries Protection Program screening process and training.
  • Be “an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
  • Be faithful to the church and its ministries.

Ministry Responsibilities:

  • Abide by the Protection Program policies.
  • Arrange for a qualified substitute if absent and inform the Children’s Bible Fellowship Director.
  • Arrive 20 minutes before the start of the CBF hour and stay until children have been picked up by parents (if applicable).
  • Greet parents and children and welcome them into the room.
  • Keep accurate attendance and return rosters to the church office (with the assistance of the CBF Helper).
  • Be fully prepared for and teach an interesting, age-appropriate Bible lesson using the designated curriculum that encourages student self-discovery and application.
  • Straighten room as needed and return it to its original condition.
  • Develop relationships with the students.
  • Attend S.T.E.P. meetings and other CBF training sessions.
  • Pray for the CBF Ministry and for the children!

Name:

With the Lord’s help, I will do my best to fulfill my ministry responsibilities.

Signature: _________________________________________ Date:

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

What kind of curriculum or material do those who have teacher training programs use? How do you ascertain whether or not a person is knowledgeable and skilled and in the Word?

I am on a fact finding mission here- I'd love to see more folks detail what their churches do. It's encouraging to see church leadership cognizant of the need for quality in SS classrooms instead of glorified babysitting.

Angela Stewart's picture

Ed Vasicek wrote:
We choose to ask teachers from our attenders. They do not have to be members, but they must sign an accountability document and be screened for sexual abuse prevention.

Our elders work with the Sunday School Superintendent, either suggesting, confirming, or rejecting teachers.

We look for godly individuals who know the Lord, embrace sound doctrine, live a respectable life, and are faithful.


I'm curious as to why your SS teachers don't have to be church members. I would think you'd want them to be subject to church disipline. Could you explain your thoughts behind this choice?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I voted "established vetting..."
There are qualifications specified in our constitution. These are not the same as pastor/deacon qualifications, however. We do expect them to have some evident giftedness. In a church our size, that's not usually hard to determine.
... and interest in serving in this way tends to correspond to ability, though there are exceptions to that.
(We also screen for criminal history, mainly with sexual abuse history as the concern there)

Ed... like Angela, I'm curious why your teachers do not have to be members. How would you handle church discipline, for example? Perhaps the accountability statement covers that but would this statement really differ much from, say, a church covenant?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I know that there are quite a few churches represented by SI membership, so I'd really like to see more comments about how your church handles appointing SS teacher and YG leaders/workers, and what kind of curriculum you use.

I know the poll isn't as detailed as it could be- and when I say "the same kind of criteria as for pastors/deacons", I'm wondering if and how much church leadership/SS Superintendents take into account a person's character and reputation. The qualifications of a deacon, for instance- they shouldn't be a substance abuser, greedy, a gossip or a liar.... who here would want someone who was a known gossip or had an explosive temper to teach their kids' SS Class, KWIM? I'm not talking perfection, but an established pattern of behavior.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Susan R wrote:
I know that there are quite a few churches represented by SI membership, so I'd really like to see more comments about how your church handles appointing SS teacher and YG leaders/workers, and what kind of curriculum you use.

None of the choices in the poll accurately represent what we do. We have two SS superintendents, one for adult classes and one for children's classes. These men observe church members and approach them about teaching if they believe them to be spiritually mature, the right kind of examples, etc. (This goes to what you said about a pattern of behavior.) For a youth class teacher, if they accept, they also have to have a background check, as we do for all adults who work with children in any capacity, nursery, etc.

We have come to the conclusion that we need to have a more rigorous process to determine those who are truly "apt to teach," but we haven't worked through that whole process yet. We do have ongoing teacher training courses, one of which we are going through right now. We don't want to just throw warm bodies at SS classes, but we also don't want to offend those believers who are gung-ho about ministry and getting involved, but wouldn't necessarily make good teachers (at least not yet). Sometimes, we use some of these as teacher's helpers, so they can learn. We have to balance that against not having enough qualified people and then having to combine various classes. I guess what I'm saying is that we don't entirely have it figured out, but we are continually working on the process.

For curriculum, we use different things for the adults. The next one we will be doing is an intense "new members" class. This is something we are improving for the new members, but we also want to have a refresher for the adults who are long-time members to remind them of the duties, responsibilities and benefits of church membership, and what that really means to the growth of the body of Christ.

For kids, our church generally uses RBP, but sometimes we do something different. I teach in the 4th-6th grade classes, working together with a doctoral seminary student, and this past semester, we thought we would try something a little more intense than the usual stuff RBP does at this level. We did a series on the teachings and parables of Christ that we worked out on our own, rather than the usual "Life of Christ." Took more time and research but was very rewarding.

Dave Barnhart

rogercarlson's picture

Because our church is small, I personally pick our teachers. Our teen and adult SS teachers are the deacons. So all of our teachers would meet those qualifications. As far a ciriculum, we have been using RBP and Anchor (BJU) for the children. The teens have been using RBP, if there are only a few teens they go in with the adult class. For 10 years, I taught the adult class. I always wrote my own material. The deacon who teaches now has been teaching Revelation. He has been writing his own, relying heavily on David Jeremiah's studies as well as other commentaries.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church