- Lord, please. . .
- Fill me with Your Spirit and power to enable me to lead each of my students to Jesus Christ. Acts 4:31
- Convict my students’ hearts of sin and call them to repentance and salvation. John 16:8
- Show any sin in my heart which would hinder the Holy Spirit from using me. Psalm 66:18
- Prepare my students to be laborers of the harvest one day. Luke 10:2
- Give my students the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. Eph. 1:17
- Allow the eyes of their hearts to be enlightened. Eph. 1:18
- Strengthen each student and teacher with power through Your Spirit. Eph. 3:16
- Root and ground each of my students in love and respect. Eph. 3:17
- Help each of my students to have humility, gentleness, patience and show tolerance for one another in love. Eph. 4:2
- Don’t allow anyone to deceive them with empty words and help them to stand firm when confronted with evil. Eph. 5:6
In Jesus Name, Amen
For a free printable pdf of this prayer click here: 10 Prayers for Sunday School Teachers or click on the jpg
You can add this to your Family Photo Prayer Journal. To learn how to make a prayer journal, click here: Make a Family Photo Prayer Journal.
We offer prayers for teachers because teachers have the enormous responsibility of imparting knowledge to our children, and their job is often difficult!
Prayers for teachers are to be said for and by them, to bring guidance and divine support so that they may bring the word of God to others. The prayers are for Sunday school and religious educators, but apply in principle to all teachers.
There is also a prayer that teachers may say to request guidance for difficult and troubled students.
“Luke 6:40: There is no disciple who is superior to his teacher; but every one whose instruction is complete will be like his teacher.”
The following has been submitted by Olga de Juana. Thanks Olga!
Help me to be a fine teacher,
to keep peace in the classroom,
peace between my students and myself,
to be kind and gentle
to each and every one of my students.
Help me to be merciful to my students,
to balance mercy and discipline
in the right measure for each student,
to give genuine praise as much as possible,
to give constructive criticism
in a manner that is palatable to my students.
Help me to remain conscientious
enough to keep my lessons always interesting,
to recognize what motivates each of my students,
to accept my students’ limitations
and not hold it against them.
Help me not to judge my students too harshly,
to be fair to all,
to be a good role model,
but most of all Lord help me
to show your love to all of my students.
Sunday School Teacher’s Prayer
Father in Heaven, I thank You that
You have called upon me to take part in
the instruction of young people. See that
I am fit to do this honored work before me.
Grant me a clear understanding of Your word.
Teach me, that I may teach others. Help me
to realize the solemnity of instructing immortal
souls, and give me aptness to teach. Enable me
to set before my students a pious example.
Make Your word quick and powerful in the
hearts of all. Bless, I pray You, each of the
students committed to my care. Grant that
they may receive with all readiness of mind
the lessons of Your word, that they may be
brought to the full knowledge of Your grace
and to the true faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
O Lord, bless also their parents. Help them
to bring up their children under the care and
admonition of the Lord. Sanctify them, that
they may feel a pious concern for the salvation
of their children. Grant Your blessing upon the
instruction and admonition of both parents and
teachers, that all these children may become full
members of Your church, and heirs of Your salvation.
May these children be motivated to also say
prayers for teachers as well. Bless, O Lord, the
superintendent and the pastor. May our school
and church prosper to the praise of Your holy name,
and to the salvation of all the members,
for Jesus’ sake, amen.
Prayer of a Sunday school student
Dear Father in Heaven, I pray for Your blessing.
I thank You for this Sunday school, where I may
learn more about You. I thank You that You
have called upon me into Your covenant by
baptism. Help me to remember my Creator
in the days of my youth, that I may not depart
from Your ways.
Bless our school, officers,
teachers and students alike. Help us to learn
Your truth with joy. Open our hearts that we
may receive Your word. Help us to love and
obey Your truth.
O Lord, bless my teacher
and give him or her much joy in teaching us.
Bless my parents, and help me to obey them
in Your name. Please forgive all my sins,
and help me to be Your obedient,
faithful child, for Jesus’ sake.
Prayer for Troubled Kids
Almighty God, Heavenly Father, whose mercies are new unto us every morning, and Thy faithfulness every night, grant us. we pray Thee, Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily acknowledge Thy merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Thy benefits, and serve Thee in willing obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Merciful God, we pray on behalf of these children and youths, that they may be more and more renewed by Thy Holy Spirit. Grant that they may receive with all readiness of mind the lessons of Thy word, that they may be brought to full knowledge of Thy grace and to the true faith in Jesus Christ. Cause all sinful affections to die in them, and all things belonging to the Spirit to live and grow in them. Give them strength to gain the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. Defend them against temptation and every pitfall. Let Thy fatherly hand supply their wants for this life, and let Thy Holy Spirit guide them in the way of Thy commandments. Make them living members of Thy Holy Church, and heirs through hope of Thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty and gracious God, we ask Thy blessing upon all Thy servants to whom Thou hast committed the work of teaching the young; guide them, O Good Shepherd of the sheep, that they may be able to guide the lambs of Thy flock in the way of life; and give them Thy continued grace, that they may persevere in the good work which they have undertaken; reward them abundantly through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen!
Table of contents
Read Bible Verses about Teachers
“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
Click here to read more Bible Verses about Teachers.
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“Teachers who feel connected – to each other, and to church leaders/staff – will be more committed to the faith formation program. Not only will they be more comfortable asking for help, they will build soul-nourishing friendships.”
The Importance of Training
As September approaches, churches around the country are preparing to begin a new program year. Whether your church formation program has hundreds of participants, or just a few, well prepared teachers and leaders are essential. Providing training will help your volunteers lead children (and adults) in lived, loving relationships with God, others, and creation.
Note: Don’t forget to check parish and diocesan policies regarding background checks and sexual abuse prevention training to ensure your volunteers fulfill all the necessary requirements.
Thanks to our Experts
We would like to thank the formation leaders who shared their wisdom for this post: Sue Van Oss, Director of Christian Formation at St. Paul’s in Duluth, Minnesota and Boykin Bell, Director of Christian Formation at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
10 Tips for Sunday School Teacher Training
As always, adapt this advice to fit your setting. For example, some churches don’t use the terms “Sunday school” or “teachers,” but instead seek to train “formation leaders” or “faith leaders.” Whatever your context, the tips below will help you equip volunteers to nurture children in knowing God and loving Jesus.
1. Be Intentional About the Invitation
Being a faith formation volunteer is an important role, so don’t under sell it. Teachers that value their roles are likely to spend more time preparing, and inviting others to participate. Avoid drawing in volunteers by saying “it’s so easy.” Instead, focus on the purpose and importance of the ministry you are asking the person to be involved in.
As for the invitation itself, personal contact is always best. Invite volunteers individually; first through an email so they can think about it, and then through a follow-up phone call. Tell them why you think their personal gifts are suited to teaching and leading children.
2. Be Open and Honest about the Commitment Level
People appreciate knowing what to expect. For example, if the curriculum your church uses requires preparation each week, be upfront about the time commitment and explain why that preparation is important. If your ministry would benefit from leaders being present for at least two sessions a month in order to form relationships, set that expectation as part of the invitation. At the training itself, review and discuss these expectations.
3. Consider Written Job Descriptions
As author Mark DeVries explains, “Every volunteer longs for clarity. But too often we give only fuzzy expectations – no job description, no behavioral contract, no accountability structure – and then wonder why our volunteers don’t last” (Sustainable Youth Ministry, 154).
Job descriptions are not just for large churches – any sized ministry can benefit from clear expectations. So consider including ‘position descriptions’ as part of your personal invitations, and then have copies to go over at the training. These documents should outline the purpose of the ministry, the responsibilities of the position, the time commitment, and the resources and/or training you will provide. Check out the following sample: Church School Teacher Position Description.
4. Model Preparation and Organization
Whether you meet with volunteers individually, do a large training session with all leaders, or go on an overnight retreat, your level of organization makes an impact. When you communicate well and demonstrate a high level of preparedness, it sends the message that you value your volunteers and their ministries. Your example will also set an expectation (and encouragement) for the your teachers’ preparation in their own classrooms.
Some basic tips: Arrive early to the training to set up and have the space completely ready. Have all the supplies ready to go, and make photocopies well ahead of time. When people arrive, you will be able to focus on greeting and welcoming them.
5. Respect your Volunteers’ Time
Have an agenda. This can be written on newsprint, up on a white board, or printed out for all participants. It lets people know what to expect and how long the meeting or training will last.
If you schedule 1.5 hours for the training, do not keep volunteers longer. If you run out of time, you can schedule a follow-up meeting. This could be in person or via video conference; either as a group or individually. Alternatively, you could send additional notes or create a short video to cover material you did not get to.
6. Focus on Relationships
Whether you meet in groups or with volunteers individually, prioritize time for relationship building. Teachers who feel connected – to each other, and to church leaders/staff – will be more committed to the faith formation program. Not only will they be more comfortable asking for help, they will build soul-nourishing friendships.
In the training, make time for volunteers to work together in small groups. This is especially important for teachers/leaders who will be working as part of the same team. The most important thing is for teaching teams to meet and to agree to certain norms, especially if a new person is joining an established team. Make sure that everyone feels respected and valued.
7. Make Time for Prayer
Certainly, you should open the training in prayer. In addition, consider spending intentional time praying for the children and parents that you’ll be ministering to. As a leader, you can model this practice by asking your volunteers how you can be praying for them throughout the year.
8. Share a Vision
A clear vision for your ministry will allow your formation teachers and leaders to work toward similar goals. Your team will feel that they are making a meaningful contribution to their church community. You should craft your vision before the training – either on your own, or with a small trusted circle of people.
At the training itself, you can involve your volunteers in some additional visioning. Hang large sheets of paper around the room, then give each volunteer a stack of post-it notes to add comments to each poster. The headings on the large sheets of paper can be the following: A Look Back: What were the previous year highs and lows, what worked, what could be improved? Today: What are needs we see for this year, what do we want to accomplish? Future Dreaming: If money, time and effort were limitless, what would you envision for the faith life of this community?
9. Content Content Content!
Your volunteers will be hungry for advice and practical ideas for teaching and leading children. So provide such content as part of the training. Depending on your curriculum, you may have specific materials to work through. But don’t get caught in the weeds.
Consider acting out a ‘classroom scene’ or a story-telling lesson. Additionally, try an exercise about childhood development, passing out descriptions of how children at different ages learn and socialize. Discuss these ‘ages and stages’ with your group. (Note: Building Faith will be sharing some age level guides shortly.)
10. Consider the Needs of your Volunteers
As a church leader, one of your tasks is to help your volunteers grow spiritually through their ministry. That can’t happen if your volunteers or worried and stressed. So think about their needs, both for the training and beyond. Will any of the leaders need childcare? Will leaders be coming straight from work and need dinner? Do leaders live far away and need to meet on a Sunday as opposed to weeknight? Could you meet at someone’s house, especially for a small group?
Remember that your care and nurture of your volunteers will set the stage for their care and nurture of the children (and all people) in your church. Together, your ministry will bear fruit for years to come.
Sarah Bentley Allred is an MDiv. student at Virginia Theological Seminary. Previously, Sarah served for four years as Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in High Point, North Carolina. She loves local coffee shops, board games, the beach, and exploring new places with her husband, Richard, and their dog, Grace.
This is a talk I presented to the Sunday School teachers in our church who teach children up to grade 7. I thought I would share it with you who teach children in your church for warning and encouragement.
The Stimulus for Teaching Children
While we believe that teaching children the gospel is primarily the function of parents, as Sunday School teachers you come alongside parents to support them in this role. In the Sunday School classroom children are taught the truths of the gospel in language that works for them over and over again until it sticks.
Consider what you do as teachers in the light of Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
In Sunday School you are proclaiming Christ to children, you are warning them of the reality of judgment and hell, and teaching them with wisdom – as is appropriate to their age. This is done with the goal of presenting everyone you teach as mature in Christ.
So you are part of the process that sees those children not only serving in the body of Christ on earth but one day standing in glory before Jesus.
Allow that thought to influence the way in which you teach.
The Seriousness of Teaching Children
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
Since we who teach will face a more serious judgment, we ought to contemplate this sobering warning every time we prepare and teach.
Jesus warns in Matthew 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Imagine for a moment a sea voyage where you are tossed overboard with an anvil chained to your neck. Jesus says that nightmare is preferable to causing a child to sin. Yikes.
I would not be surprised or disappointed if some of you teachers asked to resign your position, or to take a hiatus, or at least requested help on how to teach better. There is no shame in quitting in the face of these two warnings.
The Substance of Teaching Children
The substance of your content must be the gospel. You teach it over and over in many different ways as you explain and make plain the core theme of redemption through Christ’s atonement in both the Old and New Testament.
We teach kids Bible stories, as that is how they learn best. That is how we all learn best, which Jesus knew and modeled for us. But help draw the line from the teachings of Jesus to the person and work of Jesus. And then attached helpful memory verses that encapsulate important doctrines for your young students to live by.
As a teacher you must know the truths you are teaching, so you have to do thorough preparation for your lessons. If there is something you don’t understand yourself, then find out. Children know if you have not prepared and if you don’t take their lesson seriously.
But kids don’t only learn from what you say. They learn from what they see in your life. You need to live the truths you are teaching. Watch your life in front of your children. The way you speak to them teaches them. Don’t gossip, be patient, be kind, be cheerful, be serious about prayer, dress modestly.
All of this encompasses what you teach.
The Standards for Teaching Children
Your private holiness as a teacher is important. Paul told the young Timothy to train himself for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). I pass that injunction on to you. Are you committed to daily devotions, prayer, and the studying of Scripture? Are you overcoming sin? Are you giving to the work of the ministry generously and sacrificially? Do you worship regularly with the church? Are you an exemplary leader for our children to emulate as you imitate Christ?
As a teacher your public holiness is just as important as your private holiness. Paul tells Timothy to be an example in “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Watch what you say and do in public because the children you teach are watching you, their parents are watching you. They’ll learn from what movies you watch, how you dress, how you treat alcohol, how you react to stressful situations.
You aren’t pursuing holiness to please people, you are pleasing the Lord, but you do so in front of people who are learning from you. So take that pursuit seriously.
The Satisfaction from Teaching Children
In terms of the language used by the Bible a Sunday School teacher is a teacher, an evangelist and a servant. In a real sense a deacon. Now you might not have the official title of deacon in your church, but you are a servant of Christ and of the church. This is a privileged function that comes with recognition and reward.
Notice 1 Timothy 3:13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Those who serve well gain a great reward. You receive a good standing with God; your goal is not to have a good standing in the church or in society, but with God. Even if no one on earth sees what you do, God does.
You will also gain great confidence in this, that you will know that you are saved because in your heart you are sacrificially serving God to the best of your ability.
Fifty years from now our church will only be as mature and holy and doctrinally sound as the generation of servants and leaders and members who make up this local body. And the children who are under our care right now, as a captive audience, as clean slates, can be nurtured and guided into maturity that will benefit them, their families, their peer groups, this church, and this community we reach.
And you, as a teacher, stand at the vortex of this responsibility. Let me close with Paul’s sobering and pensive question…
2 Cor 2:15-16 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
That’s a man who understood the level of significance his teaching ministry held. Do you?
This article was originally published on TheCripplegate.com. Used with permission.
Clint Archer is the senior pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Durban, South Africa. He has written his first book, The Preacher’s Payday. You can follow him on twitter @ClintArcher or his blog for aspiring theologians and writers at Café Seminoid.
Publication date: May 24, 2016