So you’re teaching a class and things just aren’t going well. The kids are running around the room playing tag, someone is crying at the door for their mom, your assistant is out sick, and the snack just spilled all over the floor. You feel like quitting, right? One question: Is this a normal day in your classroom? If it is, you may need some keys to success to help you get through. Quitting is not the answer.
Some keys to success are: prayer, preparation, a lack of pride, and perseverance. There are many others that we could discuss here, but these are a great start.
Prayer – Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This verse is a wonderful one to have posted in your classroom where you can see it. It is a great reminder that we can bring all our requests to God. We need to start each day with prayer so that we are in constant connection with God. Ephesians 6:18 states, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” This is another verse that says to be constantly in prayer. From the moment you wake up Sunday morning, until the moment you go to bed, be in prayer for your class and the children in your class. Pray for each child, your lesson, the parents, your assistant (if you have one), anything you can think of that has to do with your class. If you have an especially difficult child, pray for them. They may have a difficult home life and may need some prayer (as they all do). Prayer is always the “first line of defense” in any classroom.
Preparation – Ephesians 6:14-15 says, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” You can stand firm because you have prepared yourself. Putting together a lesson takes more than 5 minutes. It takes time. Think through each part of the class time to make sure you have prepared for everything. Be proactive by trying to think how the children could react to different parts of the class time. What is your procedure for attendance? What is your procedure for snack? What is the bathroom policy? Thinking through each portion of the class and having a procedure for everything will cut down on the troublesome parts of your time. We may think that preparation is only for the story and activity, or at the most the time that you are in the classroom. Preparation includes everything from the moment you wake up that morning, until the moment to walk through the door back at your home. Preparing yourself with prayer before you walk into the church building will help you stand firm in the classroom.
Lack of Pride – James 4:10 states, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Being humble is necessary to teaching. Teaching is a skill that needs to be developed. Some people are born with the gift of teaching, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to work at it. It’s okay to ask for help from others. You are not an island and you don’t have to do this on your own. Lower your pride and be willing to ask for help. Be teachable! You don’t have all the answers. Whether you have been teaching for 30 years or 3 weeks, everyone needs help sometimes.
Perseverance – Revelation 2:3 says, “You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.” Teaching is not easy. Whoever says that it is, has never taught. Teaching is a struggle, each and every time. Some days are better than others, but it takes a lot of work. James 1:12a says, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Sometimes the best ideas have come from a time of trial. What part of your class time do you dread each and every week? Change it! Albert Einstein once said, “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result, is insanity.” Do something about the troubling part of class. You don’t have to just beat your head against the wall each week to get through. When it gets tough, don’t quit! Keep going! Philippians 4:13 reminds us, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” You CAN do this! Those children need you to be dedicated to them and to show them the love and teachings of Jesus.
Don’t give up! You CAN do it!
Here are a few more articles from our website to encourage you:
- Charles Spurgeon’s Encouragement for Children’s Workers
- Spiritual Encouragement for Bad Days
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Serve In Children’s Ministry
- 110 Reasons to Love Children’s Ministry
- 5 articles to encourage your ministry